According to the Institute on Aging, approximately 11.3 million seniors are living alone and that figure is expected to rise as the population continues to age. In addition to those seniors living independently, there are many millions more who feel alone, isolated, or forgotten regardless of their living situation.
These feelings can be attributed to many things including:
- Reduced interactions with family who aren't able to visit as often as they want
- The natural shrinking of their circle of friends as they age
- The lack of an engaged community around them
In a survey by AARP, as many as one in five older adults feel socially disconnected despite technology around us that aims to keep everyone connected to our family and friends.
Simple things can help reduce this sense of isolation, improve social connections, and lift the spirits of the aging seniors you love.
- Spending time on the phone or in person talking about things of interest or family
- Planning and doing an activity - even something simple like visiting a food market
- Creating a project together that engages the creativity and memory of your senior
- Building relationships with younger family members through stories
- Preparing (or just enjoying) a meal together
The best gift you can give a senior loved one is the gift of your time and attention.
What other ways can you think of to help prevent isolation and loneliness for your aging parent or grandparent? Share with us on our Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook page!