If your grandma appears lonely, her feelings may be related to life changes such as the death of a spouse, retirement, health problems and isolation. The loss of other family members and friends due to death create an additional void in an elderly individual’s social support network. These changes are common as your grandma grows older, but may prove especially challenging when family members move away, compounding feelings of loneliness, and placing her at greater risk for depression, reports the Helpguide.org website. You can make a difference by cheering your lonely grandma with simple, but thoughtful actions that demonstrate your love, and remind her that she is a treasured family member.
Harmonize With Your Grandma's Heart
If distance prohibits you making a physical visit, you can still cheer your grandma in a fashion that is sure to make her heart sing. Encourage your grandma to share, and teach you a favorite song, and to disclose some of memories associated with the song. In a short period time, you can render a duet with your grandma that will create smiles and laughter. Make the memory of your duet even more special by placing a copy of the corresponding sheet music to the song in an inexpensive frame, and sending it to your grandma.
Taking your grandma out of her home environment for a meal represents a treat for her. However, consider a creative spin on providing an opportunity for a special meal with her. With your grandma’s direction and assistance, create a meal using one of her favorite recipes. Your lonely grandma will savor the meal as well as your company. Remind her of some of the positive family memories associated with that recipe and others, and ask for tips to ensure that your version of the recipe tastes more like hers. This is a good time to inquire about your grandma’s diet. An unhealthy diet increases the likelihood that she may struggle with feelings of depression.
A Chat Session
Permit your grandma to talk about her feelings of loneliness, resisting the temptation to interrupt to offer an immediate solution. Your time and attention help to validate her self-worth and some of the feelings your grandma may be experiencing related to loneliness. Communicate your understanding that she feels blue, and ask for input from your grandma for strategies that will help to lighten her mood, and brighten her day. Your awareness of your grandma’s discomfort can begin to alleviate her feelings of loneliness.
Keep Tabs on Grandma
Monitor your grandma for feelings of loneliness that do not improve, or appear to worsen over time. Ensure that your grandma sees her medical doctor for a referral to a mental health professional or counselor who understands the issues and problems that older individuals must navigate. Continue to offer your love and emotional support, but follow through to encourage your grandma to seek the professional help she needs.
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