Pathways Home Health and Hospice Offers Ideas For Cheering Up the Lonely
With July 11th being Cheer Up The Lonely Day (a condition suffered by many seniors) and July being Wheelchair Beautification Month, we decided to write about both in an effort to highlight the problem of loneliness. From taking flowers to senior living facilities to decorating your loved one’s wheelchair, we have many suggestions that can help you do your part to cheer up someone who really needs it. Loneliness is a serious epidemic around the world, with researchers finding mounting evidence linking loneliness to physical illness and to functional and cognitive decline, according to the NY Times. Loneliness, often thought of as a quiet devastation, is increasingly being viewed as a serious public health issue. Home health care is important when it comes to companionship because it can help someone who is confined to their home or facility a way to interact with others.
Here are some suggestions on how to cheer up the lonely this month and throughout the whole year:
Make a call: A simple phone call means more than you know. For an elderly or chronically ill loved one, sometimes isolation can lead to depression. There is evidence that when our need for social relationships is not met, we fall apart mentally and physically, with effects on the brain and body, says Psychology Today. Some effects can lead to stress hormones while others can erode arteries, create high blood pressure, and affect learning and memory. Research shows that even one bright spot in someone’s day can boost their feelings of self worth. When you think of your loved one during the day, whether you’re reminded of them by something or you just want to say you love them, pick up the phone. Have a five minute conversation, reminisce, and remind them how special they are.
Pamper them: If your loved one is confined to home and can’t go out, go to them. Bring along a spa kit so you can treat your loved one to a manicure and pedicure, paint their nails, give them a massage, and make them a healthy fruit smoothie. This will not only boost their spirits but will also have a positive health effect. According to the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, massage is helpful for the management and prevention of age-related diseases as a good alternative to less natural pharmaceutical treatments. Regular massage can increase the quality of life and help patients feel younger, healthier and balanced.
Engage them in a hobby: Keeping the mind occupied is a key part of combating loneliness. Here are some suggestions on hobbies you can encourage:
- Scrabble (to keep the mind sharp)
- Card games
- Simple stitching projects
- Scrapbooking (helps with memory and fine motor skills)
- Jewelry making
- Hand-painted ceramics
Decorate their wheelchair: Everyone could benefit from a facelift every now and then. For those bound to a wheelchair, it can get pretty boring day in and day out. Why not add a little light to their day by decorating their wheelchair and involving them in the process? Here are some tips:
- Attach a plastic vase to the side and place silk or fresh flowers in accordance with the season. Red roses or tulips make colorful additions to any wheelchair. Plus fresh flowers smell great!
- Attach decals, stickers, magnets and bumper stickers that reflect your loved one’s personality.
- Hit the craft store and pick up embellishments such as feather boas, rhinestones, streamers, banners and more.
- Show your seasonal spirit with American flags, Christmas lights and more.
- Switch out the regular tires for bright colored ones. Upholstery can also be switched out for bright colors, patterns and textures.
- Add LED lights to the underside of the wheelchair. These will look great at night!
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
Remind a loved one today why you appreciate them! Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice if you need help with caregiving at 888-755-7855.