The loneliness of the elderly is a phenomenon that affects more than 25% of people aged 70 in France. At this age, people are more vulnerable, sometimes find themselves widowed, and it is not uncommon for social isolation to develop gradually, whether intentional or not. It is therefore important to identify the cause, and above all to take measures to alleviate loneliness and its harmful effects. Fortunately, there are many proven solutions that now allow loved ones to help them cope with this ordeal.
Here are some tips that you can apply to fight against the isolation of an elderly person.
Identify the cause(s) of isolation
The isolation of the elderly can be caused by many factors, both psychological and physical, and even material. Some people, for example, cannot bring themselves to grow old and resent this situation. Result: they can become depressed and can no longer maintain social ties.
Distance from loved ones and bereavement are also one of the common causes of isolation, especially for people who have lost their spouse and have seen their children move away from the family circle. In this case, it appears that the latter need an affective presence in order to cheer them up.
Loss of autonomy is also a source of isolation when socially disabling manifestations such as incontinence, difficulty in moving, hearing or speaking bother those concerned. Finally, the drop in income can also cause isolation when the elderly person does not have access to the care or equipment necessary for their travel, or when they cannot afford to travel to see their loved ones.
Identifying these factors will allow you to better understand this need for isolation, and to adopt the solution that will best meet the needs of your elderly relative.
Call the remote assistance
The isolation of the elderly person can be a difficult problem to resolve when the main person concerned does not want to go out or leave his home, for example. Fortunately, home assistance is a service that individuals can now access to help an elderly person. Indeed, thanks to this solution, the senior can call for assistance easily and quickly in the event of a problem, such as a fall or a feeling of discomfort for example.
Remote assistance is a solution not only for the elderly person, but also for relatives in the sense that this service can contact emergency directly if needed. A professional will also take care of contacting loved ones to warn them of any problems the elderly parent is facing. To benefit from services adapted to the needs of your loved ones, contact the number 1 for remote assistance and thus ensure a discreet presencebut reassuring.
If your elderly loved one is still independent enough for this, and especially if he likes animals, theadopting a pet may be the ideal solution. Indeed, studies have proven that the presence of a companion helps to reduce the feeling of isolation. Result: the master feels less alone, the affection of the dog or the cat will make him happy, he will feel useful by taking care of the animal daily, and the presence of his four-legged friend can bring him a feeling of security. By adopting a dog, for example, the fact of having to walk him regularly will push him to go out and therefore to remain mobile. The animal is also a pretext to come into contact with other people, which will maintain the social bond.
Do not hesitate to ask him which animal he would like to adopt so that he feels less alone, and if necessary, to pay from time to time a pet-sitter to take care of the animal if necessary.
Be there for her
This seemingly simplistic solution is nevertheless the most important of all, because facing isolation means concretely break the loneliness of the person concerned. Therefore, you must make sure to visit her often at her home, to check on her, especially if she has lost her spouse or a close friend. If you are unable to make regular visits, give her a call regularly, if only to let her know that you are thinking of her.
Finally, you can also ask the neighbors check in to make sure your loved one is doing well. There are also volunteers who implement actions at the level of local authorities in order to fight against the isolation of the elderly. You can contact them.
Schedule regular eye and hearing exams
Old age is often accompanied by a loss of autonomy, in particular vision and hearing problems, which can be the cause of embarrassment to communicate with the others. It is especially poor hearing that can discourage a person from socialize because of the embarrassment of not understanding, and the shame of being repeated. Keeping good vision will allow him to continue activities that require good eyesight, such as reading for example. It would be a shame if your loved one gave up their book club, knitting or crossword puzzles for vision problems!
As a result, you must ensure that all seniors undergo regular examinations to detect any possible problem, so that they can benefit from the necessary solutions: wearing glasses, hearing aids, etc. Be aware that there is financial aid from the state to meet these health costs.
Encourage socializing with other people
Age should not prevent a person from keeping in touch or socializing with other people. Therefore, you should encourage your loved one to have relationships with other people, elderly or not. The latter will be better able to understand the little worries of everyday life and can be good company. To do this, you can, for example, ask her if she wants to register for a seniors club.
Contact home help
Home help and in particular the lady companion is one of the most popular solutions when it comes to breaking the loneliness of the elderly. In fact, it is a human presence who can help break the daily isolation with regular visits, walks, or even by reading to the senior. Some service providers can even offer more advanced services such as help with meal preparation, cleaning, accompaniment for shopping, etc.