There is a big difference between solitude and loneliness. We don’t know anyone that doesn’t love a little bit of peace and quiet and a chance to be by themselves for a little bit. It is nice to have some me time. What isn’t nice, however, is loneliness, destitute loneliness.
Loneliness and isolation are a common concern among elderly parents, though. Typically this starts with the loss of a spouse, and then gets added to by their decline in physical capabilities, such as their inability to drive or their hearing has worsened. That is where you come in.
Keep reading to hear our top tips to help protect your aging parents from the biggest risks of loneliness.
Talk To Them All The Time
The more you call them the better. And make sure you call. Texting, emailing tweeting, all of that stuff doesn’t count. So make sure you call and make sure you call often. You don’t need any special reason to call, you just need to call them, even if it just for ten minutes every other morning. Just be careful what you say, as http://www.nextavenue.org/slideshow/not-say-aging-parents/ rightly states. Other than this, just think about it from their point of view for a second or, if you have kids of your own, then imagine them not calling you. Regular contact is one of the easiest and most effective ways of helping your parents through their loneliness.
Consider A Care Home
A lot of people have a preconceived idea of what a care home is, especially the elders. There is this belief that care homes are a waiting room stuffed with nothing but boredom. But this is completely untrue, so it may be worth having a talk with your parent to see how they feel about it, maybe even show them something like http://www.riddlevillage.com/how-we-care/rehabilitation/ so they can see some examples and understand the benefits.The greatest thing about a care home is the social aspects of it, it is the chance to be surrounded by people of a similar age, to get involved in a community, to play games and go for walks and share in the experience. All of this will attack any feelings of loneliness with speed and precision.
Get Them Into Technology
This can be a tricky thing to do successfully, and it could be worth bringing in a professional to help you, but technology can have a wonderful effect in dealing with any feelings of loneliness. If they have a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone – anything that has a camera – then they are automatically able to connect with people; friends and family. It could even be worth your while having your kid teach them. Grandparents interact so well with grandkids. As for the benefits, they will feel that much more connected. They could get in touch with long lost friends that have moved away, far away, for example. Whatever they choose, having the option will help with the isolation.
They Should Be Your Plus One
It doesn’t matter what the occasion or the event is, whether it be the theater, the ballet, a concert, comedy night or gallery opening, bring them with you. Alternatively, take them up on any invite they send your way. These kinds of activities are best enjoyed with others, so embrace that fact. It could be that you go out of your way to help them tick things off on their bucket list, things they wanted to do but can’t do alone. So why not make those dreams come true. The effect it has on them will be astounding.