There are more benefits to being social than your senior might expect. A lot of those benefits have to do with her overall health, but they can also relate to helping her brain to stay as strong as possible. But if your elderly family member isn’t as excited as she used to be about socializing, what can she do?
Feeling Like Your Senior Is Doing Something Is Powerful
All too often older adults find themselves retired with more time on their hands and having less and less to do. There might be less your senior is able to do, in terms of physical abilities. None of that means that your senior has no purpose, but it can feel that way to her. Volunteering or finding some other way to make a difference can be a great way for your elderly family member to reach out to people in her community and to feel as if she’s accomplishing something still.
Family and Friends Are a Key Component
One of the best ways for your elderly family member to socialize more involves spending time with people she loves. Friends and family members are an important part of her social life, even if they live far away. Setting up times for regular visits or at least making time for video calls can be really helpful. It can be difficult for your elderly family member to feel physically far away from people who are important to her at this stage of her life.
Pets Might Be a Huge Social Outlet for Your Senior
People are just a piece of the puzzle, though. Having a pet could be a perfect way for your elderly family member to have something else to love and to care for on a regular basis. It’s important that the pet isn’t a hindrance to your senior’s health, either from causing allergic reactions or by being too boisterous for your senior to handle. Pets offer unconditional love, though, and that’s important.
Random Social Encounters Help, Too
Those various little ways that people socialize with other people matter, too. Your elderly family member might encounter her neighbor occasionally at the mailbox and have a small exchange. Or she might enjoy talking to her regular cashier at the grocery store. All of these interactions provide value in different ways.
What’s important is that your aging family member gets a chance to continue as many of those encounters as she wants to have.
If your senior doesn’t get out much and needs more hands-on help, elderly care providers make excellent companions, too. They can make a big difference for your senior if she’s been feeling lonely.