The older we get, the more isolated we become in society. In aged care in Australia particular, the statistics are alarming: 40 per cent of people in residential aged care have no visitors at all.
We’d love to shed some light on this topic and give you handy tips to break this cycle, as everyone deserves true happiness no matter their circumstances.
Here are some tips to help with social isolation:
1. Research local events
Getting involved in your local community is a great way to connect with others. So, research your local RSL clubs, charities, school activities the elderly can get involved in and get family members to make the arrangements.
2. Introduce a regular family engagement schedule
Let’s face it. Life can get busy and although we have so much love for our grandparents and older family members, many of us don’t make it a priority to go and give them a visit. If you schedule regular visits with your family, it’ll become part of your routine. You’ll make your grandparent’s day, and they’ll probably make yours, too.
3. Give them the gift of a cuddle with a furry friend
Animals interaction has been proven to improve happiness, especially for elderly people who may be feeling lonely in an aged care facility. Next time you visit, bring in a four-legged friend – they’ll lap up all the attention.
4. Organise a regular day out
Staring at the same four walls can get a bit monotonous. It’s important that your family member still feels part of the community. Organise a regular shopping trip, lunch out at the local café, or walk in the park – it’ll make your elderly loved one feel invigorated and refreshed.
5. Communication is key
Does your elderly family member have a phone or computer they can video call you and other loved ones from? Reduce their feelings of loneliness by teaching them the ropes of FaceTime, and Facebook for that matter, so they can give you a call or send you a message whenever the mood strikes.
Many people believe there’s a choice between home care and aged care facilities, but often they go hand in hand. Why not give your loved one all of the help available? To talk about how Afea can organise any of the above activities, even if your loved one is in a facility, give us a call on 1300 65 11 33.