It can be worrying when your loved ones live alone. You may be wondering whether they are alright or if they are feeling lonely. Acknowledging and identifying loneliness in your family member is the first important step to take before you can help them. In this article, we will discuss some signs to note to know whether one is feeling lonely and how to manage it.
What To Do If My Loved One is Lonely?
If you have noticed some warning signs in your loved ones and determined that they have feelings of loneliness, you may be wondering what you can do to help them. A good way is to spend more time with them and include them more in your life. However, it is understandable that sometimes life gets in the way and you are not able to meet them as often as you would like. In which case, it would be worthwhile to consider joining a senior living community so that your loved ones can meet new people and engage in meaningful activities. Here are some signs of loneliness to look out for:
Decrease in Appetite
If you find that your loved one has reduced their appetite or is not eating as much as they normally do, you should take notice and find out the cause as it may be a sign of loneliness. Furthermore, eating alone often results in older adults consuming a diet with less variety including lesser fruits and vegetables, because they may have less motivation to cook a complete meal when they are just cooking and eating for one. This may cause them to be undernourished in the long run which may lead to a weaker immune system. Hence, it is important to spot the signs early and take steps to combat them. If you find your loved one having a lack of appetite, offer to have meals with them when you’re free. If you can’t do it face to face, you can suggest doing it online such as video calling over the phone.
When someone feels alone, they will have less motivation to go outside. This may be because they are unsure of what activities they can engage in outside or they do not like doing things alone outside. They may end up staying alone at home most of the time and isolating themselves from the larger community. This can snowball into more loneliness when they rarely interact with neighbors and friends outside, causing them to shut themselves out further. Hence, you should take it as an important sign that your loved one is lonely if they are cooped up at home alone almost all the time.
Poor Quality of Sleep
You can tell that your loved ones are getting poor quality of sleep when you notice that they are more tired than usual or they tell you that they have difficulty sleeping well at night. Research has also shown that older adults who experience loneliness tend to have more disrupted sleep at night with shorter sleeping times and symptoms of insomnia. Poor quality of sleep can affect one’s health greatly hence you should pay attention when they are not able to get a good night’s rest.
To conclude, having poor quality of sleep, isolating themselves, and a decrease in appetite are all warning signs of loneliness that you should take note of in your loved ones.