A very important part of human existence is social connection. People have a basic need interact with others, regardless of age. Unfortunately, as we get older these interchanges can become more difficult for a number of reasons. Maneuverability, conversation capability, and energy levels of your loved one can become barriers to regular social interaction.
Determining the Obstacles
There are a wide number of issues that can play a role in hindering a person from getting the social interaction they desire or need. The key is to identify the barrier, and seek possible and feasible solutions. Here are some examples of conceivable obstacles your loved one may be facing:
- Apprehension – Anxiety about embarrassment or injury when removed from their comfort zone
- Lack of access to necessary transportation
- Hearing Loss
- Lack of Motivation – Depression
Everyone has different interests and needs so it based to find a social activity catered towards your loved one. When some of the factors, or obstacles mentioned above start to present themselves, it can become difficult for the effected individual to socialize. If your loved one seems resistant the idea of increased social activities is a good idea to start with something small and relatively unobtrusive.
Just having another person that your loved one can count on for regular social stimulation can go a long way in improving overall health. Retire at Home offers a Companion Care Service that can match your loved one with a companion based personal characteristics and care needs. This companion match can provide a number of benefits such as conversation, shared hobbies, and even someone to help with and share in everyday tasks.
If mobility allows, outdoor activities are very beneficial for your loved one. If physical assistance is needed, Retire at Home companions can provide support for activities outside the home. As with many new endeavours, it may seem difficult and even unmanageable at first. With your help, guiding the process in the early stages, what once seemed daunting and unattainable can become enjoyable and healthy.
Finding appropriate activities is fundamental in making increased social interaction successful. Searching online for possible options in your community is a good first step. Most communities have groups and events that cater to seniors. The key is finding the best fit. Other options may include:
- Clubs – such as knitting or quilting groups, book clubs, photography, etc.
- Exercise groups for seniors
- Faith-based activities
- Adult learning – maybe a cooking class of learning a new language
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Music – choirs or singing groups
These types of activities can help in many ways beyond the social aspect. They can help promote emotional well being and cognitive function. Engaging in social activities and events can also help provide a sense of purpose. This can be very useful in the prevention of depression and anxiety. Creating opportunities for social interaction can be one of the most crucial actions you can take in preserving your loved one’s overall health.