6 Tips for Engaging Seniors in Social Activities

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Social engagement is vital to the mental, physical, and emotional health of older adults. The activities and interactions can boost cognitive health, prevent mobility problems, and reduce the risk of behavioral challenges. Below are tips for engaging your aging parent in social activities.


1. Promote Positive Body Image

Your loved one may isolate him or herself due to weight problems or other concerns about his or her appearance. However, complimenting your parent throughout the day could boost his or her self-confidence and increase social activity. Encouraging your loved one to stay physically active and follow a healthy diet could lower the risk of obesity and keep him or her in good mental and physical shape.

At-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.


2. Ask for Their Input

When choosing social activities for your loved one, find things he or she will enjoy. Ask for your loved one’s opinions, and give him or her the ability to research social events and programs. If your loved one’s preferences remain the priority, he or she is less likely to withdraw from an activity. The objective is to promote things that engage your loved one, not activities that bore him or her.


3. Address Incontinence & Other Issues

The inability to control their bladders and other physical issues can prevent seniors from participating in social activities. If your loved one experiences incontinence or other issues such as drooling, he or she may isolate him or herself due to fear and embarrassment. 

Look for ways to manage these issues and make it easier for your parent to socialize. For example, always take your loved one to places with plenty of restrooms to address the bladder problems, and make sure he or she stays hydrated and wears wristbands or clothing that can absorb drool.


4. Explain the Benefits of Socializing

The best way to encourage seniors to stay socially active is to show them how it could boost their quality of life and increase their longevity. For instance, if your loved one knows volunteering at the local library or an animal shelter could decrease the risk of depression and lower stress levels, he or she might be more inclined to volunteer. Research a variety of social activities within the area and present them, along with their benefits, to your loved one.

For families living in Ashburn, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.


5. Customize the Activities

If your loved one is unable to walk or stand for long periods, don’t suggest social outings that require a lot of movement. By customizing projects, games, and tasks, you can increase your loved one’s social engagement. The activities may seem less intimidating and more fun when they’re suited to your parent’s cognitive, mental, and physical abilities.


6. Choose Meaningful Tasks

Find meaningful activities that keep your loved one active. For example, helping your loved one adopt a pet could increase social engagement. Your loved one will need to care for the animal, which includes choosing the pet and going for walks at nearby parks. While at an animal shelter, pet store, or dog park, your loved one could socialize with other pet lovers and establish positive relationships.

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of Home Care. Ashburn families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call today.