(623) 934-2722 shudson@aginginaz.com

If you are living alone or with a spouse and do not have any family who will help care for you as you age, you may find yourself concerned about how the future will play out. One major concern is social isolation and being properly prepared. This is why it’s very important to connect with us before the need is urgent. You don’t want to find yourself in an emergency situation without an advocate who knows what your wishes are. We will work with you now to make sure that your future needs are met, and social isolation is not in your future. We don’t just help you figure out what paperwork you need in place and recommend trusted elder law attorneys, but we also talk with you about your personal care wishes for various future situations.

As we age, friends pass away, and others move to care facilities which results in our social circle shrinking. This is especially true when we don’t have immediate family members to depend on. Social isolation in seniors is not only lonely but can also have significant negative health consequences. If you’re a senior without family, there are things you can do to avoid social isolation. Here are some helpful tips.

Hire an Aging Life Care Manager®:
Aging Life Care Managers®, also called Geriatric Care Managers, are who we are. We work with our clients to navigate care decisions, physical, emotional, and mental. We make sure that the care they receive is what they have shared as their wishes. We focus on maintaining independence with quality care options. Understanding your needs and desires means that we are your voice when you don’t have one or your backup voice when your care providers are not listening to you. Our sole focus is on making sure you receive the proper care as you have outlined. Let’s talk as soon as possible to start documenting your wishes and plan for different situations that may arise.

Get involved in your community:
Cities and towns often have community centers or senior centers that offer programs and activities for seniors. These include fitness classes, art classes, book clubs, and more. Joining these kinds of groups is an excellent way to meet new people and interact with other seniors who share similar interests. Establish friendships now with people in your local area that are in the same age group so that you have social support. Share information with your care manager about groups you’ve joined and contact information for your friends along with notes about what information can be shared with each friend. That way, if you are in the hospital or need more support, we can reach out to your friends and let them know how they can support you.

Volunteer:
If you have some free time, and can do so, consider volunteering for a cause you care about. Not only will you meet new people and do some good, but volunteering also has health benefits. It’s been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, lower blood pressure, and increase overall life satisfaction. When you volunteer in your community, you build a circle of connections that support each other. This is important if you are a solo ager.

Keep your mind active:
Learning new things can help keep your mind sharp and focused. Consider taking a class at a local community college or even taking online courses. This will not only give you something to do but will keep you connected with other learners. There are many phone apps that can be used to stimulate your mind such as sudoku or other math and word games. Puzzles of all types can keep your mind active. Talk with your care manager about some good options for things that you enjoy doing.

Take care of your emotional health:
No matter how well-connected you are, loneliness can still creep in. It’s essential to have a plan in place to take care of your emotional health should you start to feel isolated. Having a therapist, counselor, or support group can be additional resources for you in times of need. Work with your care manager to plan and find out about these types of resources in the community.

Aging alone doesn’t mean you have to be socially isolated. While it can be challenging to do it without family, there are things you can do to avoid isolation. Getting involved in your community, volunteering, keeping your mind active, and taking care of your emotional health are all steps you can take to make friends and connections now while keeping your mind active and sharp. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help, and there are resources out there to help you build meaningful relationships. Let’s talk about the good options to consider now. Give us a call at (623) 934-2722 or SHudson@AginginAZ.com to discuss how we can help you.