Many adult children worry that their parents are lonely. Especially if their parents are single or widowed. Sometimes this is because their parent has experienced the loss of a spouse or best friend. In addition, these losses can be combined with physical issues and decreasing opportunities to socialize. Combined, older adults can experience feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Plus, if you have an aging parent who wants to stay in their own home rather than move to a retirement community, the risk of loneliness and feelings of isolation can escalate.
If you are unsure how to help your lonely parent, reach out for counseling. Talking through your problems can lead to solutions. The solution may also be your parent talking with a counselor as well, whether in person or online.
In some cases, Van Blarcom Consulting finds online counseling sessions to be preferable. This is because online counseling sessions offer a level of convenience, privacy and affordability that office sessions can’t match.
Keep in Touch to Help a Lonely Parent
If your parent has expressed they are feeling lonely, or if they’ve recently lost someone important to them and you are worried they might be feeling isolated, try to be in touch regularly. Set a schedule that works for both of you. Then, maintain it. As a result, your loved one can hear your voice regularly and you can stay informed on what is going on in their life.
Look into Local Senior Centers
There are likely community resources in your loved one’s neighborhood. Search for local senior centers online or ask your parent’s neighbors for suggestions. If there is an opportunity for your parent to join in on outings, encourage them to give it a try. You could even arrange a tour—joining in if possible—to help them to start making connections.
Plus, many senior centers have ways for seniors to reignite their relationship with meaningful hobbies. If your mom or dad enjoyed writing poetry, knitting, or singing in their youth, chances are they can find enjoyment from those activities again. Plus, if they can share their passion with others who have the same hobbies, it can be a way to create meaningful friendships. Some senior centers even offer exercise and volunteer programs.
Teach Them Technology
It is amazing the connections that can be maintained by using a computer with a camera. If you have an aging parent who is not using a computer, teach them all of the ways they can remain in touch. You could set up regular Skype calls if you live far away, or your parent could even take advantage of online therapy.
Of course, your parent will need to be open to changing their circumstances. Remind your loved one that they have a choice, that they are never too old to make a change.
Are you ready to have a conversation about your family issues? Or, would you like to set up a session for your parent to discuss the feelings of loneliness they have struggled with? Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today.