Socializing is a crucial part of keeping your senior healthy on an emotional level, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for her to do. Lots of seniors have social anxiety that makes any kind of social interaction feel more complicated, which might be one reason your elderly family member has stepped back her socializing. So, what can you do to help her?
Talk with Your Senior about What Issues She’s Having
Social anxiety is extremely common, but it can become even more of a challenge for your senior as she ages. It can help to talk openly and honestly with your senior about what is difficult for her about managing her social anxiety and what makes it easier. Very often there are other contributing factors, such as health issues your elderly family member is managing or changes that she’s experienced over the years that make her feel more self-conscious. Talking about those concerns, either with you or with her doctor, may be able to help a little at first.
Start Out Slowly and Avoid Pushing Her Too Hard
No matter what choices you and your senior decide to make toward helping her to socialize more often, make sure that you’re not pushing too hard. People with social anxiety can’t just push through and try harder to get past their social anxiety. There may be times when your senior needs to back off and retreat a bit to deal with the feelings that being more social brings up for her. Progress is fantastic, but not if it comes at the cost of making her feel rushed.
Address Complications that Make Being Social More Difficult
What complications are making socializing difficult for your senior that are easy to resolve? Some concerns might be that your senior doesn’t know where to meet new people or she doesn’t drive any longer. When you’re able to help her to solve those problems in ways that aren’t exhausting for her, she may find it easier to continue working through her obstacles. Look for easy solutions that give her a chance to face her anxiety on her own terms as much as possible.
Hire Elder Care Providers to Let Her Socialize in Other Ways
Another option is to bring in home care providers in order to assist your senior with socializing and other tasks. This is especially a good idea if she has other needs as well, such as needing help with transportation or with daily tasks around the house. Elder care providers offer a friendly face and someone who is there to listen and to be supportive. They can also help your aging family member to feel more confident about interacting with other people on a regular basis.
Finding the right balance for your elderly family member with socializing is key. There may be times when she feels more comfortable reaching out to other people than she does at other times. That doesn’t mean that she’s backtracking into isolation. It could just mean that she needs time to regroup.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Buffalo Grove, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.
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