Rescue Mom from Loneliness: 10 Signs of Lonely Seniors
Loneliness occurs in us all for a myriad of reasons, but as you care for your aging loved ones, keep an eye on the following warnings signs and take action to alleviate their pain.
- Change in call frequency. Both the increase and decrease in communication may indicate your loved one feels lonely.
- Recently became a widow.
- Changes to the neighborhood. Have longtime neighbors moved away?
- Loss of driving ability. This loss can affect her sense of independence and may keep her from easily meeting with friends and family.
- Not leaving the house as frequently as they once did.
- Lack of appetite.
- Friends have passed away recently.
- Excessively long and hot showers. A Yale University study concluded that people will use physical warmth, such as hot showers, as a substitute for human connection.
- Purchasing habits increase. Data from the Journal of Consumer Research finds that people who buy a lot of material goods suffer from loneliness. Lonely seniors may replace social connections with material goods.
- Speaking of friends and family who she hasn’t seen with a sense of longing. While this could be a sign she just misses someone, it could also point to a general state of loneliness.
Tips on Preventing Loneliness
If you believe your loved one may be susceptible to loneliness, take a proactive approach to preventing loneliness:
- Take the time to visit and listen.
- Prevent seclusion or isolation.
- Create family moments to connect her with your children.
- Ask your loved one's doctor to check her vitamin D and B12 levels as well as thyroid activity.
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