Helpful Strategies to Avoid Social Distancing Loneliness in Seniors
It’s normal to feel an increased sense of longingness to see a friend or family member again after some time apart. During this time of social distancing, everyone along with many seniors are feeling the effects of being cooped up. Avoiding loneliness is easier said than done, but there are ways to combat it.
Socialization is more crucial to some than others, as some are more introverted or extraverted, but we all need some level of interaction. It’s what nurtures the human spirit, and plays a key role in our mental and physical health. There are ways to find joy in the simple, little things that make up each of our days, no matter the circumstance. These strategies listed can help battle loneliness in seniors and other family members.
Play with Your Pet
A lot of us are staying home more than ever before. Those who are now able to spend more time with their dog or cat, find themselves able to get more quality time with them. It may not be the usual routine of a dog park visit, but taking time for a simple fetch in the hallway or backyard will be enough to keep your pup in a somewhat familiar routine.
Teaching them a new trick takes a lot of time, repetitiveness, and dedication. If stuck at home, many pet owners will find themselves in the position to fully work and take the needed time towards successfully training them to learn a new skill or trick.
Utilize Technology for Face-to-Face Communication
Technology allows communication with loved ones to be right at our fingertips, through a simple text message to check in on our loved ones, call them up and hear their voice, but also see their face via video call. While not as good as being right next to someone, video calls at least give us the visual cues and ability to visibly see a smile appear on the other end of the line.
Apple products allow for the capability of instantly starting a call through Facetime, but the limitations of not having the right products can leave this not an option for some. Platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Facebook Messenger are other options for smartphones and computers. Free accounts are required, and the device must have video capabilities.
Make Time for Self-Care
While loneliness is best solved through interaction and communication with friends and family, there is justification in making time for ourselves. We can take this time to really work on self-care, and simply relax. A bath, baking a favorite dessert, taking a light walk, or even going for a drive with no destination can be ways of doing self-care. Whatever helps you feel at ease, and brings you joy.
A warm and cozy blanket, taking a hot shower, or making a comforting cup of tea can have both physical effects, but is proven to provide mental ones as well. Warmth may mimic the sensation of physical touch, which means similar neural pathways are activated. Even comfort food is backed by science to show soothing effects, as it reminds us of feeling cared for and secure.
Teleport to Another World – Via Pages
Books have an interesting way of taking us across borders, states, and even seas by simply diving into their pages. Stories from a time long gone, with characters that inspire us with simple lessons learned along their journey.
With so many genres, there is a book for anyone whether they love history, romance, action, or a thrill-seeking adventure. The classic best-sellers ring a timeless tale, and new titles are released every year to add a new perspective. Digital copies are available for an easy download to a smartphone or tablet, which will also leave extra room on your shelf.
Stories with intriguing characters have been said to act as “social surrogates,” and give us a greater sense of belonging. Reading also allows us to have a mental break from getting caught up in news and media.
Overcoming the Hurdle of Loneliness
It’s not easy to be faced with the circumstances of not seeing loved ones for some time. Seniors are prone to loneliness and depression, which can even contribute to more serious health problems if not addressed.
At The Kensington Falls Church, we fill each day with life-enriching activities. We encourage family involvement and the socialization of our residents. Although we are taking the steps to maintain CDC recommendations for social distancing, we are still working hard to bring smiles to each day.
If you have questions about our assisted living and memory care neighborhoods or would like to take a virtual tour of our community, give us a call today! We promise to love and care for your loved ones, as we do our very own.