Fighting Loneliness in the Elderly
Loneliness is an unfortunately common symptom of aging. As we get older, we tend to lose spouses, friends, and family members, and it’s all too rare to find members of the younger generation who are willing to spend time with the elderly. This results in social isolation and loneliness, which is one of the highest predictors of mortality in older Americans, but there are ways around it.
We all know about the health benefits of exercise, but it’s equally important to remain mentally active, which is where hobbies and learning new things can come in handy. This is why most assisted living communities offer classes and activities to their residents, and visitors are more than welcome to join in. Whether it’s a yoga class, a crafting session, or learning tai chi, there are plenty of ways to keep seniors active both mentally and physically. Plus, doing these things in a group setting has the added benefit of helping them form and cement relationships with their fellow residents.
Pets are a great way to combat loneliness at any age, which is why some assisted living communities (including Stillwater Senior Living) allow residents to take their pets with them, and if you need helping taking care of your pet, that’s included in the assistance we offer our residents. Pets not only provide company and unconditional love, but they’re also great conversation starters. Anyone who has ever lived with a pet knows they each have their own personalities and can get up to some very silly antics, and relating those antics gives you something to talk about with just about anyone.
As an added bonus, owning a pet has been shown to reduce stress and help lower blood pressure, helping their owners live longer.
Supportive Friends and Family
If you have an aging loved one, you’re their first line of defense against loneliness and depression. That might seem like a heavy burden to bear, but you don’t have to bear it all on your own. Enlist the help of other friends and family members to make sure your loved one has visitors regularly. Don’t be afraid to take the initiative and go visit whenever you have time, instead of waiting for an invitation. People are often too proud to admit when they need help, even if all the help they need is a little company now and then.
You might also have to be their first line of defense against depression. According to Mental Health America, roughly 68% of Americans aged 65+ know little about depression, if they know anything about it at all. At the same time, 1 in 17 older Americans suffer from depression, and Americans aged 65+ make up 20% of all suicide deaths in the country.
So, it’s important for you to know the symptoms of depression, and don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help. Many assisted living communities provide counseling as one of their regular services, and even if they don’t, they’re sure to have a good recommendation for you.
Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.
CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.
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