Studies show that 1.4 million elderly people living in the UK experience profound loneliness. It is normal for them to spend ten of their waking hours without any company and 14% are constantly alone. If you have an elderly parent, this should be a cause for great concern. It is vital for your parents’ happiness that you visit them frequently and maintain the parent-child bond. Likewise, you need to help them find ways to socialise with people of their own age on a daily basis. If they are in a residential living facility, you may want to suggest or even help them set up weekly socialising activities to improve their quality of life. We take a look at some of the activities you can encourage them to take up.
Staying active is important for mental and physical health. Older people may experience balance problems, which activity of the right kind can help to improve. For others that are in a better state of health, sports and games can ensure that they stay in good health and fit for longer. These activities can be done with others and provide opportunities to engage and make new friends. Some examples are golf or miniature golf, tennis, croquet, volleyball, bowling, and pool.
The Performance Arts
Not only is karaoke fun but it can become the highlight of the week for an elderly person. Attending dance classes and finding a partner can ease loneliness. Other performance arts to consider are skits, story-telling, ballroom dancing, putting on plays, stand-up comedy, and joining a dancing troupe.
Social get-togethers can provide the elderly with social encounters that are fun, relaxing, and entertaining. Joining a club can provide similar benefits. Everyone in the group can get a chance to select the activity for a night of fun. Some possibilities to choose from are murder mystery night, masquerade balls, an evening at the casino, and trivia night. Day events, such as formal teas can become a habit to look forward to.
Competing with friends over board games can be stimulating. There are many options like uno, pictionary, scrabble, checkers, bingo, monopoly, chess, and dominoes. Card games can also be tons of fun.
Time with Animals
Elderly people who have a pet are less lonely than those that don’t. Choose a pet that is easy to care for and that interacts well with people, like a cat. It is best to get an older animal that is not too active. Else, visits to pet shelters can be a heartwarming experience.
Some residential care facilities, like Vale View Heights Care Home, have beautiful gardens and welcome their residents taking up gardening for exercise and the pleasure of seeing their efforts rewarded by beautiful flowers. This can encourage conversation about gardening with other residents who come to admire their work. Some outdoor activities that can be shared are picnics, bird-watching, hiking or shorter daily walks, and boat rides.
Your own mind will be at ease when you know that your parents have friends and socialise on a regular basis.