Tips To Ease Loneliness For Older Adults

By Bushra Davila, MBA, RD, LDN |

Loneliness can be a significant issue for older adults, but there are various ways to help them cope and improve their well-being. Whether you are worried about your parents or other loved ones, you can help by lending a sympathetic ear and spending time with them.

Here are some tips you can suggest supporting older adults in dealing with loneliness:

  1. Encourage social engagement: Encourage older adults to maintain and develop social connections. Options could be joining community groups, attending local events, participating in senior centers, or connecting with friends and family members.
  2. Volunteer opportunities: Suggest volunteering to stay socially connected and engage in meaningful activities. Volunteering helps others and provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  3. Technology assistance: Teach older adults how to use technology and social media platforms to connect with loved ones, join online communities, and participate in virtual events or classes.
  4. Pet therapy: Pets can provide companionship and reduce feelings of loneliness. Consider suggesting pet adoption or fostering for older adults who can care for a pet.
  5. Encourage physical activity: Regular exercise can improve mood and overall well-being. Encourage older adults to engage in activities such as walking, tai chi, or water aerobics, which can also be group social activities.
  6. Reminisce and share memories: Encourage older adults to reminisce and share their life experiences with others, whether through storytelling sessions, writing memoirs, or joining clubs centered around shared interests or experiences.
  7. Offer transportation assistance: Limited mobility can contribute to loneliness. Offer transportation to social events or gatherings, ensuring that older adults can participate in social activities.
  8. Provide access to mental health resources: Offer information about local support groups, counseling services, or helplines for older adults who may need professional assistance to cope with loneliness or related mental health issues.
  9. Encourage hobbies and interests: Suggest pursuing hobbies and interests that align with the older adult’s preferences, as this can create opportunities for social interaction and enjoyment.
  10. Be a listening ear: Sometimes, all an older adult needs is someone who will listen and provide companionship. Offer your time to chat or spend time together regularly.
  11. Support group participation: Connect older adults with support groups for individuals facing similar life challenges. These groups can provide a safe space for sharing experiences and emotions.
  12. Regular check-ins: Stay in touch regularly with older adults who may be at risk of loneliness, even if it’s just through phone calls, emails, or video chats. Your consistent presence can make a significant difference in their lives.

Several Medicare Advantage and Medicaid health plans may offer a home-delivered meal benefit to their members. Those receiving home-delivered meals showed improved nutrient intake and quality of life. GA Foods has a care delivery team that can enter the members’ homes and place the meals in the freezer. These specially trained team members do a basic safety assessment and notify the case manager of any concerns.

To learn more about selecting a home-delivered meal provider, download our guide.