Tips to help prevent loneliness in the elderly
Loneliness can have serious effects on our health and wellbeing. However, loneliness in the elderly can be difficult to overcome. It can be especially difficult if an older person finds it hard to get out and about.
If you are an older person feeling lonely, or if you are worried about a person you know feeling lonely, here are some tips to help prevent loneliness.
Engage with people you meet
Use every opportunity to engage with others. That might be the checkout assistant at your local supermarket or the person sitting next to you in the doctor’s waiting room. If you find it hard to strike up a conversation, start with something simple like the weather, or just ask the person how they are today.
If you can get out and about, then go for a walk in the park, a trip to the library or for a bus journey. This will give you a change of scene and offer more opportunities for conversations with people.
Stay in touch with friends and family
If your friends and family do not live close enough to visit often then use the phone to stay in touch. Younger friends and relatives will also appreciate having someone older and wiser to talk to when they need comfort and advice.
You could also contact organisations that arrange a regular friendship call from someone who enjoys talking to older people. Independent Age on 0800 319 6789, Age UK on 0800 055 6112, and Friends of the Elderly on 0300 332 1110 all offer this service.
Get comfortable with technology
Technology can be a great aid to communication. Smartphones, tablets and computers allow you to send text messages, emails and have video calls. You can connect on sites such as Facebook, rekindling old friendships and making new ones. You can also join groups and activities online that can help you feel less lonely. If you are not comfortable using technology you could ask for help from a friend, relative or carer.
Age UK also offers courses and drop-in sessions to help you become comfortable using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Join a group
There are lots of possible groups and activities you can attend to meet new people. Charities such as Age UK, Women’s Institute, Rotary, and Reengage run many activities and can often arrange transport.
Alternatively, your local library will have details of local groups you could join. And your local council can also give you details of courses or groups that you may be interested in. Many community groups and churches run activities such as choirs, walking groups, book clubs, bridge, bingo, quiz nights and faith groups. Local leisure centres also offer opportunities such as yoga classes and aqua aerobics.
Volunteer in your community
Volunteering is a great way to meet people as well as giving something back to the local community. Many local charities will truly appreciate your experience and wisdom. Plus you can learn new skills, build confidence and make friends.
Many older people volunteer in charity shops. Here they can enjoy the company of staff and other volunteers as well as chatting with customers. But there are many other ways to volunteer in your local community. Some organisations that appreciate volunteers include schools, hospitals, food banks and community groups.
Fill your diary
It can help with loneliness if you plan your week to make sure you have some opportunities to engage with others. Put things in your diary such as phone calls, a trip to the library, visits from family, friends or carers, volunteering, clubs and activities both in-person and online.
If you feel overwhelmed by the possibility of joining a group or volunteering, then start small. You could go for a walk in the park, visit a local coffee shop or join a group on Facebook.
Ask for help
If you are feeling lonely and don’t yet have the confidence to try new things then reach out to a trusted friend, family member or carer. You could also call The Silver Line helpline (0800 470 8090). They can help you find opportunities that you feel comfortable with so that you can begin building a rich life with plenty of friends to share your time with.
Mumby’s Companionship Care
At Mumby’s, we believe that everyone deserves to live a sociable and fulfilling life and we take loneliness in the elderly seriously. Our carers help elderly parents to keep active and independent and support them in continuing to enjoy the activities, groups and hobbies that they love.
Mumby’s outstanding companionship care helps to overcome the feelings of loneliness and social isolation in the elderly. Our dedicated and carefully matched carers develop meaningful friendships with clients and provide 24/7 help and support whenever needed.
For more information on how a Mumby’s carer can help you live life to the full, contact us on 0800 505 3511 for a friendly, no-obligation chat.
Try live-in care without a long-term commitment
Our live-in care 2-week trial allows you to try our outstanding live-in care. You can make an informed decision for your loved one without any long-term commitment. Book a free no-obligation care assessment.
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