My mom seems to be very lonely. My dad passed away several years ago, and she has since lost a few close friends who she would meet up with once or twice a week. She's always been somewhat of a social butterfly, but she's been isolated and I worry her health will suffer more for it. I feel guilty that I can't be with her more, but my family lives a few hours away. I'm worried about her being alone as much as she is but she's adamant about staying home through retirement. How can I help her through this loneliness? What should I be wary of?
What's scary about being isolated is not only feeling lonely, but there's also an increased risk for depression and subsequent health issues. And even worse, your mother could have an incident or accident while home alone and be unable to contact someone for help. There are a few things you can do and encourage your mother to do to help prevent these issues:
1. Combat Loneliness - Homecare By Design hosts several events each month open to seniors in the community. We often have guest speakers, senior exercise classes, special presentations, social events, and special VIP events. For example, we typically throw a Christmas Open House dinner for our seniors who would like to engage with each other (this year, it will be on Saturday, Dec 16th, 4-6pm). Visit our Clubhouse with your mother to get a tour and learn about these events - she may benefit from it more than you think!
2. Prevent Accidents - Homecare By Design offers a Home Safety Inspection, conducted by our Home Maintenance Technician, to ensure your home is safe and suitable for senior living. They perform a 200-point assessment reporting areas that may cause risk for injury, and make detailed suggestions for home improvements to prevent these risks, such as improving lighting, removing obstacles, adding accessibility features to your home, etc.
3. Get a Lifeline Pendant - A Lifeline pendant necklace allows an individual to simply press a buttom for emergency personnel to come help, and can even notify family members when an emergency occurs. Whether your mother has a fall/injury, has intruders in the home, or otherwise feels her safety is at risk. This is available for subscription purchase through Homecare By Design or directly through Lifeline.
4. Enlist Some Help - Part of the reason Homecare By Design exists is because we understand that some seniors could simply use a companion. Whether or not your mom needs many homecare services, anyone will benefit from having a visiting Caregiver a few times a week. Our Caregivers perform detailed personal care, and/or simple companion care, such as: transportation, meal prep, light housekeeping, safety supervision, and general companionship. Many seniors, even phyically independent folks, enjoy the company of our professional, friendly staff.