Encouraging Your Elderly Parents to Maintain Social and Physical Interactions

Something that you may take for granted today may become rare and difficult to achieve tomorrow. Indeed, as we age, interactions, both socially and physically, reduce dramatically, which can have serious impacts on cognitive and physical health. 

As many seniors gradually fall into social isolation as they get older, their daily interactions become almost non-existent. In many cases, this can create a favorable terrain for health degeneration. Yet, whether it is physical or cognitive, degeneration can get unnoticed when the person doesn’t cultivate sufficient interactions/ As such, it becomes imperative for family members to take proactive steps and encourage their elderly parents to engage in more day-to-day interactions. 

Both social and physical activities play a crucial role in keeping seniors mentally sharp, emotionally balanced, and physically healthy. Engaging regularly with others will help stave off feelings of loneliness and depression, which are common among seniors. Furthermore, staying socially active also fosters a sense of belonging and purpose. 

That being said, physical activities are just as important, as they are central to maintaining mobility, reducing the risk of chronic conditions, and enhancing overall physical health. 

Unfortunately, seniors can find themselves naturally isolated as they do not need to commute everyday to work or don’t see friends and relatives frequently. So what can be done to maintain those essential interactions in old age? 

Ask your elderly parents to move in with you

For some families, having elderly parents move in with them can be a rewarding and beneficial experience. The arrangement allows seniors to be part of a loving and supportive environment, while also providing them with daily interactions. 

Grandparents can spend quality time not only with parents but also with grandchildren, which is guaranteed to keep them physically active and mentally connected. They can find it easier to get involved in day-to-day activities and conversations. 

Adopt a dog for your elderly parents

Bringing a furry friend into the home can work wonders for encouraging physical activity and social interactions. Dogs are excellent companions who can be taken for walks. This can present a great opportunity for exercise and also for meeting new people. Dogs are social catalysts, prompting conversations with fellow dog owners or dog lovers during walks. 

However, if you are going to surprise your elderly parents with a pet, you want to invest time and effort into their training. Dog training is primordial if you want seniors to enjoy life as new dog owners!

Sign them up to a local club

The idea that hobby clubs should be reserved for young people is ridiculous. Many seniors can meet like-minded individuals who share their interests in local hobby communities. Whether it is a gardening club, book club, or a crafting community, there is a lot to be said for the supportive and stimulating environment they can provide. 

For seniors, this can be the opportunity to schedule weekly meetups and activities while building new friendships. Sharing new experiences is part of what makes clubs so popular. 

In conclusion, while it becomes tricky for seniors to adjust to their new lifestyle in retirement, many can still find ways with the help of their families, to remain socially engaged and physically active. Nobody is too old for enjoying social interactions and benefitting from them. 

2020 Kimberly Signature

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