Helping Senior Citizens with Loneliness Houston
Updated: Nov 29, 2022
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, one-third of adults 45 and older feel lonely and nearly one-fourth of adults over 65 are considered socially isolated.°
Senior citizens are more likely to face loneliness and social isolation because as they age they are most likely faced with living alone, losing family or friends, illnesses and impairments.
As they age, all of these risk factors for loneliness begin to compound for our seniors citizens.
Luckily there are some steps we can take to help senior citizens combat loneliness.
One great way to help mitigate loneliness is to have a pet for care and companionship.
Having a pet offers so many benefits for senior citizens and helps them fight off loneliness and the depression or other ailments that can come from it.
There is a basic human need to take care of something and to feel wanted and loved. Pets are great avenues to care for something and be cared for in return. Knowing that you are needed and wanted, even if it is early in the morning for food, is a great feeling and senior citizens will appreciate the companionship.
But, while cats and dogs are great companion pets, the truth is not everyone has the time, patience, or space for those kinds of animals. Luckily, there are other great pet options for senior citizens.
Chirp Chirp Chirp
Birds are a great pet choice for senior citizens that require minimal space and care, but still offer a chatty companion that will noticeably increase a senior citizen’s quality of life.
There are so many benefits to birds such as:
Birds require a lot of personal attention and interaction, so both the pet and owner will need to engage with one another, and often.
Some types of birds really love to chatter and can often be trained in various ways. Hearing their little feathered friend chirp “hello” or whistle a cute tune is a great way for senior citizens to keep engaged and social.
Caring for something so small engages our empathetic tendencies and can help lower stress levels.
Training birds requires lots of interaction and patient practice which will also keep senior citizens engaged and mentally sharp.
Canaries are great options for a bird that is fine enjoying from a distance as they don’t require excessive interaction from owners. In fact, many refer to canaries as a beginner’s bird and can live up to 10 years old, so they’re great for companionship.
Contrary to popular belief, there are many different colors of canaries so you don’t have to get a golden yellow one. You’ll find canaries at just about any pet store and they’re usually inexpensive. These are great birds for senior citizens to begin with.
Parakeets are probably the most popular small bird species and with good reason. These small, colorful parrots have great big personalities. Parakeets are best for senior citizens that can afford to give them lots of attention and care as they require more human interaction than some other bird species. They are also a favorite for owners as they lack the ability to shriek, but are still proficient chatterers.
Love birds, often referred to as “pocket parrots” are colorful little birds that tend to be
best in pairs or small groups. These little chirpers are often described as playful, curious and very active. But senior citizens will benefit from just how social these birds are as they tend to form deep bonds with their owners and love to cuddle!
What’s more, because of their size, they are not as loud as larger parrots so they are a great option for apartment dwellers.
Here at Christian Companions Houston, we understand how important it is for senior citizens to socialize and have companionship. That's why, for over 10 years, we have been committed to helping senior citizens thrive on their own terms. If you or a loved one could benefit from age-in-place services such as help around the house, help with medications, or grocery runs, please don’t hesitate to reach out today!
1. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25663