Loneliness and isolation are so common among the elderly. There are many causes including the loss of a spouse, physical decline, inability to drive and decreased vision and hearing. Most seniors want to stay in their homes but what do they do to combat loneliness? Hiring a companion service, like Senior Home Companions, can help in many ways:
- Maintain frequent contact – if calling family or friends once a month is the usual timetable, think about increasing the frequency. It also helps to set up a calendar to call on special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. Just hearing the sound of a loved one’s voice can mean so much.
- Visit on regular intervals – while calls are important, there is nothing better than a visit and a HUG. If time or distance is an issue, consider SKYPE or other video choices to make this a visible event. Seniors may need assistance with this but it will touch their hearts – imagine the happiness of a grandson telling his grandpa about his first home run on a video call. What joy!
- Check out community resources for seniors. Many senior centers have great programs for seniors to connect and even make new friends. If your loved one is hesitant to go to Bingo, movies, shuffle board, Bible study or exercise class, please go with them or engage a companion to go with them so that they will feel more comfortable. Many centers will provide transportation or a caregiver can take them.
- Take senior to events that they will enjoy – many seniors have fond memories of past activities that brought them much enjoyment – concerts, theater, festivals, comedy and the arts. Consider having a family member or caregiver go with your loved one to a similar event. A companion service can research these events and even arrange for tickets. You could start a new tradition!
- Teach your senior loved one to use technology – companions can help with this. While this can be overwhelming to a senior, the experiences from connecting with technology will be well worth it. Sharing emails, photos, text messages, favorite songs and live chats can be a bridge to any family or friend. When they start to use the computer they will feel a great sense of accomplishment. “Grandma is one Facebook again.”