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Loneliness in the Elderly: How Can We Help?

Loneliness in the Elderly: How Can We Help?

There are a number of ways that we can help socially isolated or lonely elderly individuals in our community. The individual who is being helped will take advantage of the health benefits that can be found in doing so, and you might find you will too! Volunteering at an organisation that supports the elderly might be a good place to start, but a simple phone call or friendly chat can also make a world of difference. With that being said, let’s run through some of the best things you can to tackle loneliness in the elderly!

Starting a conversation

It can be difficult to know how or who to help initially. A good way to start is to simply pause and spark a conversation with an elderly neighbour. If you think that an elderly individual might have issues with hearing or memory, make sure to speak loudly without trying to shout! Pausing between sentences can give them a chance to speak as they wish, and questions can give them a chance to digest information properly. Allowing some extra time for them to respond is also considered wise.

Offering practical help

If you know an elderly person who might live alone, rarely leaves their home, has recently become a widow, has experienced a deterioration in health or does not seem to have close family and friends living near, then this is when you can step in. You can start by asking if they might need any help with daily tasks such as posting letters, shopping, dog-walking, or picking up medicines/prescriptions.

Offering to accompany someone or give a lift to different activities, hospital or doctors’ appointments, hairdressers, library, or church, might really brighten their day!

Sharing your time

Volunteering for organisations that support elderly people allows you to spend your time combating the epidemic of loneliness facing this section of the population today. These organisations will usually offer schemes that allow you to befriend elderly people who are living in isolated conditions. These people will often rely on specific volunteers for one-to-one contact as a driver, visitor, or telephone ‘buddy’ to give them the social interaction that they need.

Organisations that can help you find a scheme like this are listed below:

  • Age UK
  • Independent Age
  • Royal Voluntary Service
  • The Silver Line
 Sharing a meal

Isolated, older people can often need a helping hand with cooking, so here it might be best to take round a plate of home-cooked food for them to have or a frozen portion that they can heat up in the microwave. This is not only practical, but provides you with the perfect opportunity to spend time with a neighbour who might be lonely.

It’s best to provide the meal in a specific container that they do not need returned, as it can be hard work keeping track of serving bowls.

Day’s Mobility

Here at Day’s Mobility, we try to help elderly people find their groove again by supplying high-quality, expertly crafted mobility aids. We understand how mobility devices can have an impact on a person’s wellbeing, particularly as it pertains to loneliness, and especially since so much loneliness can come as a result of not being able to get around properly. If you would like to see what products we have to offer, or contact us regarding anything, please click here.