So many people in the United States are lonely that it’s being described as a “Loneliness Epidemic.” According to a survey with over 20,000 respondents, almost half of all adults in the country say they feel lonely. Since one third of older adults who are not in long-term care facilities live alone, it is important that they find a way to maintain social connections. It can be difficult to meet new friends and stay connected in later years, but there are many ways you can help your aging family member to beat loneliness. Here are some ways for seniors to make new friends.
Encourage Seniors to Accept Invitations.
Some older adults feel like there are no opportunities to meet new friends because people their age already have a set circle of friends. AARP recommends that seniors “get over the idea that everybody else [their] age already has all the friends they need.” Instead, if someone invites them to do something, they should accept. Even if the event itself isn’t likely to be their favorite thing, simply going somewhere gives them the opportunity to meet new people.
Pursue New Interests.
Suggest that your aging relative take up a new hobby or interest that gets them out of the house. Look for classes, seminars, and clubs the senior could join. The benefit of meeting people in this way is that the older adult can be assured that they already have something in common.
Check Out the Local Senior Center.
Many senior centers offer a huge variety of activities for older adults. They often have classes where seniors can learn a new skill. They may also organize outings and trips for seniors. Some senior centers have clubs and social gatherings as well. You should be able to get a schedule of events online or by stopping at the center and requesting one.
Join a Gym.
The gym can be a great way to meet new people, especially if the older adult joins a class designed for people their age. By going to the same class week after week, they’ll get to know the other participants and may just find themselves forming true friendships.
Become a Volunteer.
In every community there are places where people can volunteer their time to make someone else’s life better. Nearly anyone can find a suitable volunteer position regardless of whether they have disabilities. For example, an older adult confined to a wheelchair may be able to serve as a clerk at a non-profit thrift store or get together with a group to knit hats for premature babies.
Hire Home Care.
Home care providers can assist older adults to meet new people. A home care provider can drive seniors to activities, club meetings, classes, and the gym. A home care provider can also help older adults to entertain people in their home by cleaning, preparing refreshments, and answering the door.
If you or someone you know needs home care in Blaine, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.