As we get older, isolation can become a natural part of life. People we are friends with have their own things going on, and we can gradually lose touch. Not only that, our own kids fly the nest and end up starting their own lives, which means we’re often left feeling like there’s a big hole in our lives. Not only that, the recent COVID-19 pandemic means that we’re all more isolated now than ever. If you know your own parent has been feeling isolated, read on for ways you can help them.
Help Them To Cultivate A Sense of Purpose
One of the best ways to help an isolated parent is to cultivate their sense of purpose. For example, you could encourage them to follow hobbies and interests. See if they would like to try something new with you, whether that’s painting, jewellery making, or writing poetry. Help them find classes, courses, and workshops, and see if they need help sourcing pieces to assist on their creative endeavours. This could be a good time for them to try new things.
Encourage Social Interaction
Of course, isolation can be eased with the help of social interaction. Encourage them to meet other people at coffee mornings and events. Encourage them to get talking to people when they go to classes and workshops. Arranging family dinners and days out can be a great help, too.
Help Them With Physical Activity
Physical activity is so important, even when you’re a senior. Going for walks and even to special gym classes could be another way to meet people while staying healthy. Getting out in the open could be a huge help, and exercise can give them confidence. Both of these things could help them in their interactions with others.
Get Them Help if They Need It
Your parent may be isolated because they are unable to live as independently as they did before. Looking into live in care and other options could be a good idea – but make sure you discuss with them what they want. They will likely want to keep their independence, and you need to remember that they are not children. They have had far more life experience than you know!
Show Them They Are Loved
Your parent needs to feel loved, just like anybody else. Tell them regularly, hug them, and listen to them. Be patient with them, as they may not be able to remember as well as they used to, and it could take them a while to process and carry on a conversation with you. Even if you can’t always be with them, sending them a nice message to let them know you’re thinking of them can go a long way.
Try Alternative Therapies
Alternative therapies won’t help loneliness, but they can make an isolated parent feel comforted and relaxed. Weighted blankets and aromatherapy can be particularly effective, especially if your parent ever experiences anxiety or depression.
Helping your isolated parent can be taxing, but it will no doubt enrich their lives to the fullest.
This is a collaborative post.