Many seniors experience loneliness at one point or another during their retirement years. As a caregiver for your parent, you might be wondering why your parent is feeling so lonely or why she doesn’t do more to combat and overcome her loneliness. Because of numerous changes that have probably happened to her in recent years, your parent may have not been able to fully acclimate herself to her new ‘lifestyle,” even if it is one filled with the support and care of loved ones like yourself, her family and her home care provider. Here are just a few things that may be causing your parent’s loneliness.
- She’s lost people she loves. With her advanced years, most likely your parent has lost someone she loves to death, moving, or poor health. Your parent may no longer have the companionship of her spouse, a best friend, or a sibling and meeting new people can be challenging.
- She’s lost her routine. If your parent worked her whole life and/or raised a family, she most likely has stopped doing a lot of the tasks she used to do that brought her into contact with other people and made it easier to connect and make friends. Bringing your kids to sports games opens up the opportunity to sit and chat with other parents week after week, creating relationships, while having an office to go to each day also creates consistent relationships that often lead to friendships.
- She’s lost her physical abilities. Your parent might no longer be able to do something that used to bring her pleasurable activity and connection. If her younger years consisted of physical activity such as rock climbing, horseback riding or even something simple like cycling, she may not be able to perform those activities anymore due to balance or other health issues. While some physical activities could have been more solo in nature, they still formed a community around them, and your parent may be missing that community.
- She’s lost some freedoms. If your parent can no longer drive or if she must have a scooter to get around in, she may find she’s lost the ability to do certain activities she took for granted, even it was just driving to the local coffee shop each Saturday morning to meet with friends.
- She’s lost her fun money. If the new budget your parent is on is making finances tighter due to medical bills or having to hire someone like a home care provider to help with home chores, your parent may be finding she can no longer afford to purchase season tickets to the local theater or go on the yearly cruise she used to. She may be watching old friends continue to do the things she no longer can.
While the reasons for feeling lonely can be plentiful – we haven’t even discussed the recent pandemic and isolation that has come with that – talk to your parent about alternatives. She may have to be creative with how she continues doing the things she loves with the people she cares about so she can stay connected and reduce her loneliness.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care in Colts Neck, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Lares Home Care 888-492-3538 or 732-566-1112.
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