Whether your elderly family member is feeling lonely and isolated just because of health issues she’s facing or it’s a more prevalent situation that has gotten worse over time, it’s important to find ways to address the situation for her. You may not be able to fill all of your senior’s social needs and that’s okay. You’re only one person. But there may be more going on.
Talk to Her Doctor
Talk with your aging family member’s doctor about what might be contributing to her situation in a medical sense. There are sometimes health issues that make your senior feel as if she would be left out if she tried to interact with others. There can also be health issues that make mental health issues feel bigger and more insurmountable than they really are. Ruling out medical causes can help a great deal.
Consider Talk Therapy
There might be other issues contributing to loneliness for your senior that aren’t medical in nature, but that your senior isn’t able to tackle on her own. Talk therapy might not have been an option in the past for your elderly family member, but maybe she’d consider it now. It’s never too late to work through issues and to find solutions for them.
Look for Ways for Your Senior to Reach Out
Sometimes loneliness is caused by your senior just not knowing how to get out there any longer and be social with other people. Finding clubs, groups, or volunteer opportunities that dovetail with her interests can help considerably. See what you can find that she might be interested in trying, either with you or with someone else she trusts.
Hire Elder Care Providers
It’s also possible that your senior just needs a little bit of extra help. Bringing in caregivers to offer her assistance can be exactly what she needs the most. Elder care providers are able to assess your senior’s needs, help out where necessary, and offer gentle companionship throughout the time that they’re there. Plenty of seniors just need a friendly companion around a few times a week to feel less lonely in the world.
There’s no one way to cure loneliness for your senior. Other options might involve finding ways to help her to connect with family and friends who live far away. Technology can make that easier, especially if you can help your senior to get past her concerns around technology.