As our loved ones grow older, mobility issues, life changes, and health issues can all contribute to social isolation, which can cause loneliness. To make sure your senior mom doesn’t become lonely, here are five ways you can keep her social and happy.
1. Encourage Her Interests and Hobbies
If your senior mom has interests and hobbies that she can focus on, she is less likely to feel alone and isolated. She can find ways to spend time with other seniors who share her same interests through groups or clubs in her community. If you are curious about different groups your senior mom can join, visit your local senior center. They can point you toward different events and meetups that Mom can join in on and have fun.
2. Keep Mom Connected with Loved Ones
Having close relationships with family and friends can not only help your senior mom fight loneliness, but studies have shown that these types of relationships can actually improve her health and increase her lifespan as well. With the technology we have these days, a loved one is never more than a few buttons away. So even if Mom can’t get out and spend time with friends and family often, she can still stay connected through her phone and computer. Help her get connected to social media if she isn’t already, and encourage her to text and make phone calls to friends and family whenever she needs someone to talk to.
3. Get Outside with Her
Sunshine and fresh air are great for a healthy life. On days where the weather will allow, consider taking your senior mom out for a picnic or a walk in a local park. You can help Mom work in her garden, lounge by a pool with her, or sit outside at a cafe and have a nice chat. Just getting out of the house and spending some time with each other is perhaps the easiest and best way to help Mom avoid feelings of loneliness. If you don’t live near your senior mom, a close friend or neighbor can go out with her and keep her company.
4. Be Mom’s Transportation
Many seniors who cannot or should not drive will opt to stay home instead of finding a way to get to a group meeting or lunch with a friend. Knowing that she has transportation to anywhere she needs to go can make Mom more likely to want to get out of the house and spend some time with others. If you can, offer to be your senior mom’s transportation. There are also many companies that offer senior-specific transportation around town that you can look into if you live far away from Mom.
5. Help with Community Involvement
Community involvement, such as volunteering, is a wonderful way for your senior mom to stay connected to other people and avoid feelings of loneliness. Volunteering fosters feelings of purpose and accomplishment. Your senior mom will feel proud of herself and be able to meet others at the same time. Visit your local senior center and inquire about different volunteering opportunities that are geared toward seniors, or visit the Senior Corps website and search some of Mom’s interests to find the right fit for her.
While living at home alone may seem ideal, moving to an assisted living community can help your senior mom to stay socialized by providing fellowship with other seniors in the community. In an assisted living community, Mom can maintain her independence while being surrounded by other senior residents with whom she can spend social times. Through community gathering space and different activities that are offered in an assisted living community’s monthly calendar, Mom can stay social and happy more easily than if she were at home.