Everyone needs positive social connections to thrive and survive. But as people age, they can sometimes become socially isolated and embrace loneliness. Social isolation for older adults may leave them vulnerable and lonely.
It can also impact their well-being and health. Research indicates that social isolation and loneliness can lead to high risks of health problems like cognitive decline and depression. The risk to a senior's health ensures that caregivers must help older adults create supportive and meaningful social connections.
Bringing up the health concern of the senior's loneliness may not be easy as it involves a sensitive topic. The sensitive conversation may sometimes feel like an invasion of privacy. You need not worry; below is a simple guide on how to go about it.
The Do's of Starting a Conversation on Health Concerns of Loneliness
A topic on the health concerns of an older adult due to loneliness is one that a caregiver should bring about with care. Before starting the tough conversation, make sure to broach the topic casually. Bringing up the subject in a casual manner ensures one can gauge how the older adult will react.
Establish a non-threatening starter that will keep the ball rolling. Make sure to keep the conversation casual and comfortable. The best way to start on a sensitive topic is by discussing personal struggles. Then proceed to inquire from the older adult how they are coping with theirs. The strategy offers an efficient and easy way to get a loved one to start admitting they may need help.
If done well, the conversation should offer both individuals a chance to discuss their concerns about loneliness. It also provides an excellent avenue for finding possible solutions to solving the issues.
If there is any humor during the discussions, take advantage. It will help lighten the mood and ensure a cordial conversation.
The Don'ts of Starting a Conversation on Health Concerns of Loneliness
How one approaches a tough conversation plays a crucial role in the outcome. Older adults also have bad and good days. The best approach involves identifying mistakes to avoid for the best result. Here are some don'ts when starting a conversation about health concerns due to loneliness.
You need to avoid the following:
- Rushing the older adult
- Expecting an immediate decision after one talk
- Making hurtful accusations
- Talking down to the older adult
- Making demands
- Monopolizing the conversation
- Manipulating them into making decisions
What to Do if Bringing Up Those Concerns Doesn’t Help?
One conversation may not bring about the results that a caregiver needs. They should be very patient when discussing their health concerns about the older adult's loneliness. Ensure that the communication lines remain open. Then, use a loving manner to bring up the conversation severally. The tone of the discussion can dictate whether the communication lines stay up or down.
Social isolation in older adults can bring about health concerns like depression. The risk of impacts of social isolation may prompt a caregiver to begin a conversation about their concerns. The best way to start the discussion is to keep calm and use a level-headed tone.
We at Senior Helpers Thousand Oaks are here to help the residents of Oxnard, Westlake Village, and Thousand Oaks. We provide companion care services, including caring conversation and companionship, scrapbooking and games, help with hobbies, and gardening. Above all, we ensure your loved one does not feel lonely and socially isolated.