“Loneliness acts as a fertiliser for other diseases,” says Dr Steven Cole, Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine and it can “accelerate the build-up of plaque in arteries, help cancer cells grow and spread, and promote inflammation in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s disease.” His research was focussed on the impact of loneliness on a person’s mental and physical wellbeing.    Loneliness is a serious health risk for seniors   If you do not live with your parents, you must often worry that they may feel isolated and lonely –and you are right to be concerned. As one of the leading  senior living homes in Chennai,  we offer some useful insights to help your ageing parents avoid the risks of loneliness:  Encourage them to nurture a hobby Having a hobby reduces the  feeling of isolation among seniors. With that little pressure of trying something new, your parents will enjoy the process of learning and meeting new people. Besides providing a sense of purpose, hobbies such as dancing and group knitting are inherently social in nature. Joining dance classes, knitting groups or reading clubs can open doors for them to make meaningful connections with like-minded people.  Talk to them about moving into a retirement home  The perception of ‘old age homes’ has undergone a drastic change in recent times. Nowadays, retirement homes in India offer a great sense of community. Residents are encouraged to participate in social activities and organise social events, while the management staff takes care of the facilities. Moving to a retirement home will give your parents the opportunity to live life to the fullest. They can explore new hobbies, make new friends, and stay happy and engaged.  Gift them a pet  Having a furry friend will keep your parents entertained and bring a lot of excitement to their lives. A pet might not be an equal substitute for human companionship, but people feel positive and less isolated with a pet around. Also, having a pet can have a positive effect on their health – pet ownership is associated with lower systolic blood pressure  and pulse pressure. Visit them in person  If it is not possible to stay closer to your parents, make an effort to visit them as frequently as possible. It would be a comforting feeling for them to see you in person rather than talk to you over the phone. And in case you live too far away from your parents to see them frequently, do video calls on Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime and give them a reason to smile every day seeing your face.  Teach them how to use technology Technology is a great way to stay connected to your parents. Learning technology will also help them to stay in touch with their friends and relatives. Teach them how to use technology – so that they can operate the computer’s camera, go online, use social media, or enrol for classes online to stay happy and socially connected.  Encourage them to be socially active Encourage your parents to stay in touch with their friends. If they take part in group outings or be a part of community events, they will have a social connection alive.   Looking for senior living homes in Chennai for your parents?  Explore our retirement homes in Chennai  – our senior living communities will help your parents live their retirement days in a fulfilling way. From fitness facilities and art classes to clubhouses, there are a host of options for our senior residents to stay physically active and socially engaged. To know more about our retirement communities, call us at +91 8884555554.

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