How to Reduce Loneliness in the older adults?
Studies have found relatively consistent levels of chronic loneliness among older people. Particularly in the UK, over 1.4 million older people struggle with loneliness and 225,000 older people often go for a week without seeing or speaking to anyone, according to AgeUK.
Loneliness can greatly impact old age and lead to a range of health issues, including an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and dementia. Hence, it's essential to understand how loneliness manifests in older people, as well as how we can reduce these feelings and improve the quality of life for older adults.
Social Withdrawal - a common sign of loneliness
Social withdrawal is a common sign of loneliness in the elderly. It is important to note that social withdrawal can be caused by other factors such as illness or depression, so it is important to speak with a healthcare professional if you notice signs of social withdrawal. Here are some common signs of social withdrawal in the elderly:
- Avoiding social events or activities
- Lack of interest in hobbies or activities
- Spending most of the day alone
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in sleep patterns
A report by the Campaign to End Loneliness found that almost half of people over 65 in the UK believe that their television or pet is their main form of company.
7 Effective ways to reduce loneliness in elderly adults
The good news is that there are many ways to reduce loneliness in the elderly. Here are a few suggestions:
- Encourage Social Connections: Encouraging social connections can help reduce loneliness in elderly adults. Studies have shown that having strong social connections can improve mental health, cognitive function, and overall well being. Encourage elderly adults to participate in social activities, such as joining a club or volunteering.
- Encourage Physical Activity: Physical activity can help reduce loneliness in elderly adults by providing opportunities for social interaction and improving overall wellbeing. Encourage elderly adults to participate in group fitness classes, such as yoga or tai chi, or to join a walking group.
- Hobbies and Interests: Hobbies can be a great way to stay engaged and connected. Encourage the elderly to pursue hobbies or learn new skills, such as painting, knitting, or gardening. Pursuing hobbies or interests can provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment, and can help improve mental well-being.
- Mindfulness: Practising mindfulness techniques like meditation or deep breathing exercises can help seniors manage stress and anxiety, and promote relaxation.
- Use Technology: Technology can help reduce loneliness in elderly adults by allowing them to stay connected with loved ones and participate in social activities remotely. Using techn-enabled ways, such as video chat, social media, and online games, can help reduce social isolation and loneliness in older adults.
- Provide Transportation: Lack of transportation can prevent elderly adults from participating in social activities and is a common issue leading to loneliness. Providing reliable and safe transportation to social events can help reduce loneliness by allowing elderly adults to attend events and connect with others.
- Address Mental Health Issues: Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, can contribute to loneliness in elderly adults. Addressing these issues through therapy or medication can help reduce loneliness and improve overall well being. According to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health, treating depression in older adults can reduce feelings of loneliness.
How can PCL Connect help manage loneliness in elderly?
PCL Connect is a digital health tablet designed to help older adults stay connected with their loved ones and manage their health and wellness. The tablet features a digital photo album, medicine reminders, vitals monitoring, and a caregiver app, creating a connected care ecosystem for families.
Reducing Social Isolation
Many seniors live alone and have limited opportunities to interact with others in person. According to research by Age UK, socially isolated people are 3.5 times more likely to enter a residential care. The PCL Connect tablet includes a built-in speaker and microphone, allowing users to make and receive calls to members within their care circle, helping them stay connected.
Improving Social Connections
PCL Connect comes with a simple and intuitive photo sharing feature that lets families share photos with their elderly loved ones. It turns into a digital photo frame when kept ideal. This promotes the feeling of staying connected with their family and caregivers, improving their social connections.
Another factor that can make it difficult for seniors to use technology is a lack of familiarity with the design and layout of digital devices and software. PCL Connect is designed to be user-friendly and easy to use. It features a simple interface and intuitive navigation, making it easy for older adults to access the features they need.
The PCL app for family and caregivers allows caregivers to manage the health and wellness of their loved ones and stay connected with them remotely. The app comes with features such as health vitals tracking, setting reminders for tasks for their loved ones, sharing photos and voice calling which can help caregivers stay informed about the health and well-being of their loved ones.
Find out more about PCL Connect.
Loneliness in the elderly is a growing concern, and it is important to take steps to reduce it. Whether it is through social activities, technology, or hobbies, there are many ways to combat loneliness. By staying connected and engaged, the elderly can improve their mental and physical health and enjoy a better quality of life.