Providing care to a senior loved one is a noble action, and you have tried hard to make sure your loved one has everything they need. Yet, there often comes a time when caregiver visits to their home are no longer enough to stave off the negative effects of senior isolation. According to US News, seniors with fewer than two sources of support are at greater risk for isolation, and seniors can be surprisingly adept at hiding their need for companionship. As you review your loved one's care plan, check for these signs that it might be time to seek a new living arrangement that provides social support.
They've Lost a Spouse
For many seniors, their spouse provides the main source of their social companionship. After the loss of a spouse, isolation compounds the effects of grieving. Depression, a lack of appetite, and avoiding family events are all signs that your loved one may be struggling with overcoming their loss. Fortunately, many seniors find that assisted living communities provide the ideal place to begin rebuilding their life while being surrounded by a network of support that includes caregivers as well as other seniors that have experienced the loss of a spouse.
They No Longer Leave the House
When a senior stops leaving their home, their opportunities to connect with others significantly diminish. This could occur due to a senior being afraid to drive or take public transportation. They may also fear going somewhere without a friend. Look for signs that your loved one is staying home the majority of the time such as a car that never changes places in the driveway or an unstocked pantry. This way, you can check into other options such as assisted senior care that can provide transportation to popular venues in your community along with companionship for outings.
They Have Cut Back On Their Hobbies
Watching as a formerly active loved one suddenly loses interest in their favorite activities is always upsetting. Yet, cutting back on their hobbies also means that your loved one is becoming further isolated from their friends. If your loved one has a favorite interest such as painting or sewing, then explore senior care communities in your area that offer fun and exciting events for seniors. Not only will this renew your loved one's interest in their favorite activities, but it will also help them meet other people who share their interests.
Trying to be your loved one's sole source of support isn't easy, and seeing the signs that they may be unhappy means it is time to make a change. By talking to your loved one about the benefits of living within an assisted living community, you can help them access a wide range of services that will enable them to flourish socially well into their golden years.