Loneliness can become a big problem for people as they get older. You might start to lose contact with your friends, and some of them may move away or even pass away. One of the things that might make you worry about your elderly parents is whether they have the company that they need to prevent loneliness. Even couples who live together can get lonely if they only have each other. While you might do your best to keep in touch and visit when you can, you can’t necessarily be there for them all the time. So what can you do to help prevent loneliness?
Find Them the Right Place to Live
The right living arrangements can make a big difference for older people when it comes to being social and avoiding loneliness. People who are no longer particularly mobile can end up stuck at home, unable to see anyone. A reconsideration of where they live could help them to be more social again. For some, this might mean moving to a care home to get the support that they need. For others, it could mean moving in with their adult children to get a little more support and social interaction. There are various options that could be suitable.
Teach Them How to Use Technology
There are all kinds of technologies that can be used these days to be social and keep in touch with people. While some older people aren’t so keen on using tech, plenty are happy to learn and make use of the tools available to them. As well as staying in touch with friends and family, it can even help them make new friends through online communities and more. If you don’t have the patience to learn to teach your parents how to use technology, there are always courses that can help them.
Look for Activities for Them to Join
Some older people are great at getting out and about in the community, whether it’s being a member of a church group or going on hikes with friends. Other people can find themselves bored after retirement because they no longer have work to keep them occupied. They’re out of practice with hobbies or have never really had any before so they’re not sure where to start. You could be helpful by looking for activities and social groups, which could range from knitting circles to cycling clubs.
Get Support from Volunteers
Even if you try to be there for your parents, you can’t always be there all the time. But if your parents need some company, you might be able to access some services where volunteers help to provide it. There are various charities and support groups that aim to provide company to elderly people, sometimes by giving them a phone call for a chat now and then or perhaps by dropping by their home to say hello. For example, Age UK offers friendship services on the phone or face-to-face.
You can help out your parents if you want to prevent them from feeling lonely. Make it easier for them to connect with others so they have companionship if they need it.