One of the biggest risk factors of aged care is a resident becoming lonely.
Have you checked in with the elderly loved ones in your life lately? 10-15% of seniors in Australia experience loneliness, anxiety, or depression – this invisible disease amongst our society can lead to a decline in physical and mental health! Supporting loneliness in aged care is important.
Here are some steps to help the elderly feel more connected in aged care
Encourage meaningful relationships
Studies show that it is quality, not quantity that is important to seniors when it comes to relationships. By increasing meaningful interactions and strengthening social bonds the elderly can feel more connected and in turn less lonely. When choosing an aged care facility with your loved one, make sure you specifically look at those which encourage an abundance of social interaction and activities that you know your loved one will engage with.
Keep the mind busy
Games and activities are not only great for social interaction; they’re also great for keeping the mind occupied which is great for mental health! Aged care facilities often have plenty of games on hand, but likely wouldn’t be opposed to introducing a few new ones. Find out what your loved ones’ favourite games are, play it with them when you visit, and encourage other residents to get involved!
Stay in regular contact
Visit your elderly loved ones regularly, and if you can’t visit for any reason (especially during COVID-19) – then help them embrace technology. Face time, Skype, texting, and even the good old telephone call can keep the elderly engaged and social when face to face contact isn’t allowed or able to happen as regularly as you’d like.
With the elderly at significantly higher risk of feeling socially isolated; it is important to know how to support loneliness in aged care.
Loneliness in aged care can be terribly isolating for the elderly, but there are plenty of ways to escape it!