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How to Engage a Senior Loved One in Social Activities

By , 9:00 am on

Social engagements pose challenges for older adults who may no longer feel like they fit in at events. Your senior loved one may also be unable to find people to even talk to if his or her social circle has dwindled due to a loss or lack of chances to make new friends. Fortunately, you have options for helping your loved one engage in social activities, and these strategies can address potential issues that impact the ability to enjoy socializing.

Scout Out New Venues for Potential Challenges

If your loved one has mobility limitations, the thought of going to a new restaurant or other public venue may make him or her concerned. For instance, no one wants to discover three flights of stairs between them and a dance hall when they’re in a wheelchair. Offer to visit a new venue before your parent goes to a social event so you can find solutions for potential challenges. Even something as simple as knowing where to find the closest restroom can help your loved one feel comfortable at a new location.

In Huntsville, elderly care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Ask Your Loved One to Pick Out Interesting Social Events 

Your loved one may turn down all of your suggestions. Try not to take this as an insult since older adults sometimes have very strong opinions regarding what sounds fun. If this is your issue, put together a list of different events in your community. Make sure they range from things such as enjoying a senior luncheon to taking a class or attending a concert. Then, ask your loved one to pick out several to do over the next month. Putting the ball in your loved one’s court means he or she gets to be the one to choose something to do.

Invite an Additional Caregiver Along

Seniors with health challenges may worry about how they’ll manage their needs during a social occasion. Even seniors with dementia may have moments of clarity where they worry about the danger of wandering off in public or having an episode of incontinence. Offer to bring along an extra companion so your loved one will have assistance if you need to take a bathroom break or somehow get separated.

If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality elder care, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.

Offer to Help During Conversations

Seniors with memory loss or challenges with oral language may hesitate to speak with even their closest family members or friends. Let your loved one know you’ll be there to fill in a missing name if he or she gives you a signal. While it’s best to let seniors speak for themselves as much as possible, your loved one may prefer this little bit of reassurance that you’ll jump in if he or she starts to feel embarrassed.

Consider Different Types of Social Activities

Make sure to mix things up a bit to keep socialization interesting. For instance, your loved one might enjoy chatting online with an old high school friend one day and eating dinner with a beloved companion the next. Adding variety to your loved one’s social calendar means he or she will look forward to each new event.

For families living in Huntsville, AL, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us today at (256) 716-9940.