Social stimulation is important for the elderly because it staves off feelings of isolation and loneliness. However, some seniors may not have friends who live nearby, which creates the need to make some new ones. This process is likely easier than your senior loved one thinks, and here are some tips to help him or her build new friendships.
Focus on Common Interests
One of the best ways seniors can make friends is by engaging in activities they’re passionate about. This is an especially good option for seniors who have free time to pursue some of their favorite hobbies, sports, or other activities. Whether your loved one enjoys going to concerts or reading books, he or she should easily be able to find nearby groups of seniors who have similar interests.
Take Classe for Seniors
Enrolling in classes is a great way to meet people who enjoy the same subjects. Many community colleges and senior centers offer classes specifically for aging adults. Your loved one can take a painting class or learn how to write his or her memoir. At any rate, your loved one will have plenty in common with his or her classmates, and learning something new will provide the chance to sharpen his or her mental skills at the same time.
A home caregiver can help your loved one exercise his or her cognitive skills every day. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. Sarasota 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.
One mistake many seniors make is turning down invitations if they’re unsure about the activities or the people who are going. Even if your loved one doesn’t have an amazing time at a particular event, moving outside of his or her comfort zone is crucial for making new friends. Just getting out of the house can increase the chances of meeting new people and finding friends in unexpected places.
If your loved one needs help getting to social events, a home caregiver can be a great resource. Homecare services experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Get on Social Media
Seniors can now make friends without even having to leave the house. According to a 2015 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 35 percent of adults over 65 are now using social media, which makes it an excellent platform for seniors hoping to meet people with similar interests. There are online groups set up to help seniors connect. Naturally, your loved one needs to practice general online safety when interacting with people, but online groups can provide expanded social opportunities far beyond his or her immediate neighborhood. If your loved one isn’t comfortable with technology, you can help him or her set up an account on a popular social networking site in just minutes. Your loved one can then begin searching for local groups and even old friends.
Use a Pet to Meet People
Your loved one might be surprised to find out just how effective a pet can be as an icebreaker. Dog lovers often stop to speak with each other on the street, and some even schedule play dates for their pets at the local park. As an added benefit, making friends with other animal lovers can provide a reason to get outside, soak up the sun, and even get in a little exercise.
A home caregiver can also help your loved one find ways to stave off feelings of isolation and loneliness. For families living in Sarasota, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (941) 702-5525.