Loneliness has a huge impact on your health – socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. On the flip side, interaction with your peers, time spent with family, and a community support system can have huge health benefits – all while combating isolation and loneliness.

With the number of seniors living alone continuously growing, it’s important to consider how being alone might impact their health and well-being. What causes their isolation? and what can we do to prevent senior loneliness?

Understanding Senior Loneliness

Social isolation and loneliness are a serious problem facing seniors. But why is our older population specifically susceptible to feeling lonely? There are several factors unique to aging that contribute to senior loneliness. 

Factors that Contribute to Senior Loneliness

1. Loss of Loved Ones

As we age, the likelihood that we’ve lost someone we love increases. Losing someone you love, or multiple people you love is tough. The familiar face, voice, or warm embrace is suddenly absent from your life… and that loss can be a massive contributor to loneliness. Having someone nearby to listen or support in these times makes a big difference to a senior’s emotional well-being. 

2. Reduced Mobility

Physical limitations or a lack of exercise can make a senior feel cut off from the world. Without the ability to leave your home or room safely, a lot of seniors find themselves homebound and unable to interact with their communities. Addressing mobility challenges is crucial in combating loneliness, as restricted movement limits social interactions.

3. Lack of Social Interaction

On top of living alone, it can be difficult to arrange visits with family or friends, who may be in a busier stage of life, or unable to make the trip out. Recognizing the significance of regular social connections is vital for senior well-being and combatting senior loneliness. 

Strategies to Combat Senior Loneliness

Understanding the unique factors facing seniors helps us combat their loneliness better. If you’re concerned about your aging parents or another loved one, connect with them. Building genuine connections is the best way to fight senior loneliness – below are a few tips to help build more connections.

Connect with Neighbours

If you notice a senior neighbour, try offering them a small act of kindness, like getting their mail, or helping with their groceries. These little interactions can help seniors feel like they’re an integral part of their neighbourhood by fostering a sense of community. They play a crucial role in reducing loneliness by turning neighbors into a support system.

Get Involved the Community

If you know a senior with a specific skill set, why not ask them to volunteer? Volunteering provides opportunities to make new friends while contributing to the community. Local engagement, such as gardening or tutoring, is a fulfilling way for seniors to combat loneliness while actively participating in the community.

Try a Group Activity

Many communities offer activities catered specifically to seniors. Find your local seniors programs and see if there’s anything that interests your senior loved one. Engaging in group activities, such as a walking group, or participating in hobbies, not only keeps seniors physically active but also connects them to others in the community. 

Seek Help

Encourage your senior loved one to ask for help when feeling lonely. Oftentimes, people don’t want to admit they need help, but a simple phone call or visit can make a huge difference. By encouraging them to reach out, you offer the chance for more connection and support through tough times. 

How Retirement Living Communities can Make it Easier to Combat Loneliness

Retirement Living communities can be a great way to combat senior loneliness. Instead of living alone, seniors in retirement living communities are surrounded by staff and peers. Accessible walkways and buildings make it easier for seniors to get out for a visit and recreational calendars and common areas increase opportunities for socialization.  With your friends right outside your door and staff checking in, becoming isolated at a Nanaimo retirement living community is almost impossible! 

If you’re finding it difficult to help your senior loved one combat loneliness, consider a Nanaimo retirement living community. Below are just a few ways that retirement living in Nanaimo can be an ideal place for seniors to feel connected.

Retirement Living Communities offer Recreational Activities

Nanaimo’s retirement living communities offer a ton of enriching activities, from cultural events to fitness classes, ensuring seniors have ample opportunities for social engagement. Plus, the likelihood of finding someone you’ll get along with is pretty high – I mean, you’re both retirees who thought it would be fun to attend a Zumba class. 

Retirement Living Communities offer Communal Spaces

Many Nanaimo retirement living communities are outfitted with communal spaces for seniors to enjoy together. Seniors can combat loneliness by enjoying a stroll with a neighbor on the well maintained lawn, or sit together in the lounge for a cup of tea. Most retirement living homes have dining rooms, which means every night is like going for dinner with your friends! The presence of communal spaces, such as fitness centers, game rooms, and libraries, provides a place for both recreation and ample social connection.

Retirement Living Communities Cater to Senior Needs

Many retirement communities in Nanaimo offer health and wellness programs. Whether that’s morning yoga, or medication management, these programs ensure that seniors have access to comprehensive care options that cater to their specific needs – including loneliness. On top of that, retirement living communities are outfitted with security features including emergency response systems and check in areas, which means that, if something happens, there are a ton of supports in place to help. 

Understanding the causes of senior loneliness and implementing practical solutions, such as community involvement and social activities, are important steps toward helping your senior loved one combat loneliness. Retirement living communities in Nanaimo are uniquely designed to facilitate the health and wellbeing of seniors, which means they also offer amazing opportunities for seniors to get involved in a community, enjoy friendship, care, and connection, and attend social activities. 

Looking for a way to help your senior loved one combat loneliness? Check out Lakeside Gardens Seniors Community. With on site amenities and social activities, your loved one will enjoy making new friends and learning new hobbies – all while being connected to a community of like-minded people. 

Book your tour of Lakeside Gardens today