Overcoming Social Isolation in Seniors
Many Canadian seniors are socially isolated, meaning they have little contact with other people and few rewarding relationships. Seniors going through a life transition, like the death of a spouse or a change in their health, are more likely to be socially isolated, as are women and seniors who live alone but far from their friends and family.
Signs of Social Isolation in Seniors
Social isolation in seniors can lead to poor physical health, a decline in cognitive abilities, loneliness and depression. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Having trouble sleeping, or sleeping more than usual
- A drastic change in weight and/or appetite
- Declining cognitive abilities
- Loss of interest in their hobbies
- Loss of interest in socializing
How to Overcome Social Isolation
Connecting with others is sometimes easier said than done but taking steps to stay physically and mentally active creates many opportunities for socializing. Here are some things seniors can do to overcome social isolation.
- Rekindle interest in an old hobby or discover a new one. Pursuing a hobby can help you meet new people. Join a club, class or group to bond with others over shared interests. You’ll make new friends and may discover a new passion through other members of the group. It’s also a great way to keep your mind active.
- Get a pet. There are many mental and physical benefits of having a pet. Animals provide constant companionship and affection, encourage physical exercise and are great conversation starters. If you live in a nursing home, be sure that pets are allowed in your residence. If not, you could volunteer at an animal shelter or have a friend bring their pet for a visit.
- Get some exercise. Exercising can be hard but joining a group class will add a social aspect to your workout and motivate you to keep going. In addition to keeping you healthy, exercise has been shown to reduce feelings of stress, depression and isolation. It can also help prevent memory loss and cognitive decline. Many of our communities have walking clubs, organize outings in the community, and even something as simple as gardening can have a big impact!
- Maintain a social network. Spending time with others can help fight feelings of isolation and depression. When you live in a Retirement Concepts community, there’s no shortage of opportunities to socialize! Take advantage of the many clubs and activities offered.
Find Out Why We’re So Great to Come Home To
Retirement communities are an excellent place to fight social isolation. With a regular schedule of activities, and numerous clubs and groups onsite, there are many ways to connect with others and get your mind and body working. If you feel isolated in your home, come live at one of our communities in British Columbia, Alberta or Quebec and discover how your life can once again be full of friends and enriching activities. Contact us today to schedule a visit or to learn more information about a community near you!