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6 Reasons for Social Isolation in Older Adults

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Social engagement is important for helping seniors feel happy and loved. Over the years, seniors tend to have fewer opportunities to socialize as they leave the workforce and their friends begin to develop health issues. While this means you may have to put in some extra work to help your aging loved one stay social, the good news is that it’s as easy as recognizing when he or she is becoming isolated. Watch out for these six common causes of social isolation in seniors so you can take action.

1. Living Far Away from Family Members

Your loved one may have once been surrounded by family when everyone lived in the same neighborhood. However, it’s common for families to spread apart as more people move for work and other important reasons. If your loved one lives far from the rest of the family, try setting up regular video chats so everyone stays connected.

2. Being Afraid to Drive

For many seniors, it only takes a minor accident or a scare on the road to make them hang up their keys. Other seniors may have to stop driving if they’re unable to pass a driving exam. Whether your loved one prefers to stop driving or has been forced to, make sure he or she has transportation to places where he or she can socialize a few times a week.

3. Experiencing Mobility Challenges

It’s difficult for seniors to socialize if they’re unable to get out of bed or walk long distances. For bedbound seniors, have people stop by throughout the week to cheer them up with some fun conversations. Seniors who need assistance with mobility can also benefit from having caregivers accompany them on outings.

Seniors with mobility limitations could also develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the New Hampshire live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.

4. Giving Up on Trying New Things

Seniors may also stop socializing if they get frustrated by trying to overcome all the challenges involved. For instance, your loved one may stop going to senior dance lessons if he or she has an injury that makes it difficult to take part. If your loved one is suddenly unable to enjoy a favorite pastime, help him or her find another one. For example, your loved one could attend a senior book club instead of dance lessons until he or she recovers.

5. Feeling Depressed or Anxious

Once isolation leads to depression, seniors can get caught up in a vicious cycle. They may not have any desire to interact with other people when they’re depressed. However, this is exactly what they need most. Seek professional treatment for depression that affects your loved one’s desire to socialize, and encourage him or her to get out and mingle.

Social isolation can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In New Hampshire, senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

6. Feeling Embarrassed about Personal Hygiene

Older adults who have difficulty managing personal hygiene are often very aware of how others notice their disheveled appearance. However, your loved one may still avoid bathing if he or she is unable to do so properly or has fears about falling. If your loved one becomes isolated and looks unkempt, ask if he or she would like to have a professional caregiver help with getting cleaned up before going out in public. 

Social activity is only one of many factors that contribute to robust mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care services. New Hampshire families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (603) 471-3004.

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