Loneliness in the elderly population is all too common, but there are ways to help your elderly parents socialize and maintain their happiness! Whether you have thought about it or not, there are several ways to get your parents out and have them actually grow their group of friends.
Some ways we like include:
- Taking Them To The Gym
Being physically active in the elderly community isn’t a suggestion, it is a necessity. It comes down to the difference between walking unassisted and needing a walker or wheelchair. Over time, the muscles of the body decrease and it becomes hard to stand and walk without help.
The benefits are numerous, but the one that people undersell is the social aspect. Like minded healthy seniors getting together and working on themselves is a great thing. If you find the right gym, they will have classes for seniors (there are even gyms out there just for seniors) that won’t exceed the limitations of aging bodies.
The friends that can be made and conversations with people in the same age group can’t be duplicated by you. It is an excellent way to help your elderly parents socialize with people they would want to spend time with outside of the gym.
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- Taking Them To Dinner
Going out to dinner is a classic way to get your parents out of the house and into a new environment. You may prefer to do family only dinners, but don’t forget about your friends and their parents. If they have parents in your same age range around town, why not get together as a group.
You might be surprised by how well your parents will do in a group with all different age ranges. They may make friends with the parents of your friends while discussing the grandchildren running around. Even if they don’t hit it off, at least you tried, and you can do it again with a different friend and their family just to break up the monotony.
- Getting Them Involved In A Senior Center
Senior centers are a great way to find things to do and meet new people. They are usually staffed by trained professionals that are adept at handling any issues that the elderly community may have.
These centers are also good for just getting out of the house. Your parents may not have anything to do all day, but having the senior center as an option is going to be the difference between having your parents live a robust and active life and just slowly fading away behind a television screen.
- Help Them Get Transportation
If your parents are able to get around on their own but don’t have a car, there are plenty of options these days. There are dial a ride van services both through senior centers and through most medical providers.
Another option is Uber, if you can teach them how to use it or do it for them whenever they need a ride, then you can allow them the freedom to come and go as they see fit. If that isn’t an option, you can always schedule pickups for them at certain times and places.
The last option is to take them where they need to go. This is obviously the less appealing option if you are working or have young children, but if it is the only feasible one, then you should try to make it work. Being social is something that will keep your parents happier and healthier for years to come.
- Allow For Game And Hobbies
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One popular way to help your elderly parents socialize is to get them involved in games like Bingo or games like Bocce ball. A little competition is a nice way to spark up some lasting friendships.
If you parents already have hobbies that they are active in, help them get to meetings of other enthusiasts or give them a nudge to get them more involved in these hobbies. Many doctors agree that idle hands are bad for retired adults.
By getting them more active in a hobby, they will be more present mentally and by getting out with more likeminded adults, they will be happier and get more exercise!
We Can Help
Caregiving on vacation doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds. Our 10 tips are a great start, but if you feel like you need more information to help while you are caregiving on vacation, give us a call at (714) 289-7220, or you can email us here!