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5 Tips to Combat Senior Social Isolation

1. Encourage Their Hobbies

You may be surprised to hear that hobbies are an important thing to have when you reach your golden years. Whether it’s card games, bingo, gardening, baking or volunteering, hobbies help create a sense of purpose, and they also give your aging parent a reason to get out of the house.

So find what they really enjoy, or try to remember what got them excited years ago and re-introduce it back into their life. Encouraging them to maintain their interests is a very effective way of preventing loneliness from occurring in the first place.

2. Organize Transportation

A big reason why many seniors often stay put at home without venturing outside much is that get around can be a challenge. If there’s a card game happening every night at their friend’s house located across the city with no means to get there, it’s easy to see how this can be a challenge for them. Having easy access to transportation is crucial for seniors to be able to stay connected to their community. Offering a ride or hiring a pick-up and drop-off service can help seniors break through this obstacle while assisting them to maintain a sense of independence.

3. Encourage More Family Time

Setting up weekly routines such as dining together at home or heading out for a nice meal as an entire family, can make a world of difference and mean so much to your ageing loved one. For seniors, interaction with family is more important than ever. So make so to include them in your daily life, whether it’s dining together a few nights each week, or having them over for family games night or inviting them out with you to browse through the market.

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4. Foster Companionship With a Pet

Having a furry little one to care for is another excellent way to help combat senior social isolation. Caring for a pet will give them a sense of purpose, and it will allow them to focus on something to pass the time while enjoying the cuddles and companionship that a pet can provide. Plus, it will encourage them to get out more and enjoy the fresh air during their daily walks with their pet.

5. Don’t Forget About Exercise

While seniors may be more fragile and prone to injury, exercise is still one of the most important factors for maintaining good health, both physically and mentally. Exercise is also very beneficial at easing anxiety and promoting our feel-good hormones. Encourage your loved one to stay active by joining a senior aqua fitness class, yoga, tai chi, or any other method of gentle exercise that they will enjoy.

If you’re trying to help an aging parent or loved one combat senior social isolation, consider these ways to help them engage with others and their community again. It doesn’t take much, but it will mean so much to their happiness and well-being.

5 Tips to Combat Senior Social Isolation

Pamela Stoikopoulos

Pamela Stoikopoulos is the Senior Communications and Public Relations Manager of VHA Home HealthCare.

APA Reference
Stoikopoulos, P. (2018). 5 Tips to Combat Senior Social Isolation. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018 (Originally: 18 Jul 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Oct 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.