Visiting Seniors to Beat the Winter Blues

senior care tips

When seniors become stuck at home because of their age or physical limitations, it is easy for them to become bored and lonely. If you have a friend or a loved one who is cooped up inside this winter, you can help lift their spirits and provide some much-needed company by bringing the fun to their home.

Here are a few senior care tips to help you come up with a fun activity you can enjoy with a senior loved one this winter.

1. Ask Them About What They Enjoy

Don’t just assume your elderly friend or family member is eager to knit or play backgammon because you see it on TV. Talk to them about their life, what they used to do, the activities and sports they enjoyed in their youth, or what interests them today. While many of the activities they used to do may very well not be possible now, it’s a good conversation starter.

Based on your conversation, brainstorm some ideas of fun things you can do together that would actually interest and engage your senior friend or loved one. For example, if they were an avid basketball player, they may enjoy having you over to watch professional basketball games with them. If they love to bake, get together to make and decorate cookies. Get a feel for what they would enjoy most before you decide on an activity.

2. Let Them Do The Teaching

In your conversations, you may find that your senior loves to play a certain card or board game. They may also enjoy making handcrafted items. If one of their passions is outside your comfort zone or something you don’t know how to do, ask them to teach you!

If they are into knitting, crocheting, or sewing, request that they show you a thing or two. If your senior loves to cook, find out their favorite dish and bring the ingredients for you both to cook together. Even talking about your own issues in life and asking for their advice is a way to get seniors involved. Feeling useful and needed is a great way to cheer someone up and boost their confidence and sense of purpose.

3. Arrange Family “Socials” in the Home

Seniors, especially those who are widowed, may feel lonely much of the time. However, family members sometimes feel awkward visiting their elderly aunt or grandparent because they don’t know what to do or say, so they avoid them.

Ask your senior loved one if there is any family around that they would like to see, and get their contact numbers. Be proactive and invite these relatives over for a small get-together for coffee, lunch, or even just snacks. It may be easier for some members of the family to get together when they are in a group setting, rather than one-on-one.

Depression and loneliness in the elderly is an all-too-common issue that is often overlooked by friends and family members. You can do a world of good in the life of a lonely senior simply by giving them your time.

If you need a little (or a lot) of support caring for an elderly individual in your life, a home health aide from David York Agency can provide the high-quality, personalized care to help seniors through the challenges they face in the lonely winter months.

For more information on David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn. To find out more about hiring an aide for your loved one this winter, contact us today.

 

5 Simple Ways to Combat Senior Loneliness

senior loneliness

Isolation at any age can be detrimental to emotional health, but studies suggest that the effects of loneliness can be much more far-reaching. Dr. John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago Neurosciences program ran a 30-year study on the effects of isolation in seniors and his discoveries were startling. Loneliness affects mental health as well as emotional well-being and has proven to be a risk factor for cognitive decline, long-term illness and a shortened lifespan.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that there are many ways to help isolated seniors socialize and have more human contact. A few simple solutions can reverse loneliness, improve long-term health, and create a happier tomorrow for you or your loved one.

1. Get Out and About With Available Transportation

It can be difficult to find convenient transportation, especially in small towns. In fact, 41% of seniors feel that transportation options in their area are inadequate to meet their needs. However, utilizing transportation when and where it is available can help you make great strides in feeling less isolated.

Even a quick cab ride to a park only minutes from your home can make a big difference. Take the time to learn or discuss with a loved one the public transportation routes in the area so you are familiar with them when you need them.

Contact your local government agency to discover transportation options for the elderly in your area. Many churches and other charitable organizations are also willing to help if you only ask. If these options do not appeal to you, consider asking family and friends to take turns helping you get from A to B. While it may be hard to ask, most people are more than happy to help.

2. Volunteer and Make a Difference

Seniors have a deep reservoir of life experience and talents which has the potential to make them incredibly valuable as caring volunteers. Not only does giving back help others, but it can help seniors too. Volunteering helps you create a growing social circle while improving your own mental health and well-being. It’s a win-win for everyone!

3. Get Moving With Exercise

Exercise is known to increase feel-good hormones and decrease anxiety. In fact, even 5 minutes of walking has been shown to decrease stress. The good news is, the longer you move the more benefits you will receive. From stretching to even seated movements, there are exercises for every fitness and mobility level that can be beneficial to your health—both physical and emotional. It’s even better when you get out to a class adding an important element of socialization to the mix.

4. Enroll in a Class of Any Kind

Studies reveal a surprising truth: one of the most effective ways to combat loneliness—at any age—is to join a class and improve education. Classes not only help you to interact with the world around you, but they also serve as a great way to improve cognitive function. Striving to learn something new every day keeps your mind active and you young and healthy. Even a class on a hobby like art or bridge or writing can keep you active and in touch with people of similar interests.

5. Consider Home Care

Home care agencies are much more than just helping hands. They also serve as a support system and window to the world for seniors and their loved ones. Isolation is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s digital world. If a senior is isolated from the world, chances are their friend or family member who provides their care may be isolated too. A senior care expert can free up time for both seniors and those they love to make time for relaxing, getting out, or doing something fun for awhile.

Loneliness is never permanent if we care enough to shed light on it. The solution doesn’t have to be difficult or require large amounts of effort. Efforts, even small, can make a huge difference and create a better, brighter, and happier future ahead.

Establishing the care needed and finding the right agency to supply quality assistance are two important steps to ensuring there is a high level of care administered in your absence. At David York Agency, we offer a number of home healthcare services. From home health aides to RN’s and LPNs, DYA will provide the level of home healthcare your loved one needs.

For more information about our qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need.

If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.