The topic of senior isolation and loneliness is in the news regularly, but that doesn’t apply to your aging parent, right? Even though they live alone they have you and your family who call regularly and visit as often as you can. Unfortunately, senior isolation is very real and not just limited to seniors who have no children or family; any senior who lives alone is at risk.
A report on the social isolation of seniors confirms that there are several risk factors that increase the possibility of seniors becoming isolated. Living alone topped the list of risk factors, which also included:
- Death of a spouse
- Being age 80 or older
- Having health issues
- Lacking access to transportation/losing their driver’s licence
- Changing family structures
It was found that the more of these that apply, the higher the likelihood of isolation and the risks associated with isolation, such as depression and anxiety, cognitive decline, dementia, and early death.
How Hiring Home Care Can Help Prevent Isolation
Even if your elderly parent is in good health and not in need of home health care or medical services, enlisting the services of a home care agency can help prevent isolation and loneliness. Joyful companionship is one of the types of home care services available that can greatly improve the quality of life for your widowed or single parent. Joyful companionship allows a caregiver to visit your parent and engage them in activities they enjoy, such as:
- Playing board games
- Participating in an exercise routine or going for walks
- Accompanying them to the movies or a play
- Escorting them to social functions and to visit friends
The frequency and length of visits can be adapted to suit your parent’s needs and home care services can include a combination of companionship and help with the practicalities of everyday life, like shopping, doctor’s appointments, and running errands. This type of flexible home care can make all the difference to a senior who is recently widowed and at risk of isolation or loneliness, or for an elderly parent who values their independence but may be struggling to do everything on their own.
Whether just a weekly visit to check in and have a chat over a cup of tea or getting them out of the house for social activities multiple times a week; a caregiver can bring joy into your aging parent’s life and provide you with peace of mind.
David Porter, CPCA
Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care