But You’re an Introvert: Senior’s Guide to Family Concerns About Social Interaction
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But You’re an Introvert: Senior’s Guide to Family Concerns About Social Interaction

When people picture a happy and well-supported senior, they see someone surrounded by family, friends, and helpers. There is a societal expectation that older people need more time in groups of loved ones. But that doesn't actually match up with the numbers. The human population is split evenly between introverts and extroverts. These are people who energize alone and people who energize in large groups.

If you are among the 50% of seniors who enjoy introversion, all that family time might be just a little too much. How do you spend time with family without feeling drained from frequent large gatherings? How can you assure your family that you feel happy, not neglected, during time spent alone? Many seniors also face asking for help around the house while maintaining a comfortable introverted lifestyle.

Here at Senior Helpers of Santa Rosa, we have enjoyed helping both introverted and extroverted seniors enjoy life at home with privacy, company, and a little hosting assistance.

Prepare a Space to Host Family

Hosting space is a great way to put a buffer between your peace of mind and social visits. Many introverted people prefer to keep their room, study, or back porch as a personal quiet space. You may help your concerned family feel welcome. Prepare your living room and kitchen as a more social area designed to host your guests. Put out a bowl of candies and stash a few extra chairs, stools, and beanbags around the living room for large and impromptu family gatherings.

You can greet people in this space, socialize, and create the warm family hub that many families desire from their matriarch or patriarch's home.

Visit With Individuals and Small Groups

Introverts don't necessarily love to be alone, they simply lose energy in large gatherings. One of the best ways to socialize as an introvert is to invite individuals and small groups to visit - or to meet you somewhere pleasant. Small groups do not provide the same social pressure as large groups. You will enjoy the company of your favorite people in Santa Rosa. Assure your network that you are a withdrawn senior at risk of isolation.

Schedule and Prepare for Big Family Time

Big family time is a natural part of life. The best way to enjoy it without getting tired - or to enjoy getting tired - is to prepare. Prep your home with a friend or a Senior Helper. Get the place clean and arranged for large gatherings and foot traffic. Prepare yourself for the big day by spending a little extra time meditating and enjoying your alone time - or quiet planning time with a close friend - the day before.

You can plan ahead for breaks and moments to unwind during the festivities. That is if you tend to get tired between fun family encounters.

Put a Time Limit on Visits

When family comes to visit, it's OK to put a time limit on. Relatives will often excuse an elderly person who enforces bedtime and may be grateful that they and their children have an excuse to retire at a reasonable hour. You can say that you're starting supper, that you're going to bed, or even have errands to run in the middle of the day. Keeping track of your family's schedule can also give you a reason to keep friendly visits within the time limit where you can enjoy them. the most.

Let Your Favorite Alone Time Be Known

If you have a favorite time to be alone, like quiet mornings or Sunday afternoons, let your family know. Mention what you like to do, or that you value these special moments of peace. Those who remember will respectfully avoid swinging by or scheduling visits during times when you've mentioned that being alone is most enjoyable.

Host Guests With a Senior Helper

Many seniors enjoy the company of their loved ones but prefer smaller groups and more limited visits than the concerned family may be scheduling. By taking control of your space, schedule, and hosting routine, you can also better enjoy an introverted retirement still surrounded by your loving friends and family. 

Senior Helpers of Santa Rosa can help you host your guests and manage your household in a routine that is most satisfying to your introverted nature and your personal needs. Contact us today to learn more.