Although they will be surrounded by new friends and a community of caring staff members and volunteers, residents in assisted living still deal with grief and loneliness. This reality may not always be in the forefront of family member’s minds, but it is an issue that will likely face many seniors as they face ongoing losses.
Sometimes, the losses are not just related to the deaths of family members or dear friends, or even the passing of a new friend in the assisted living community. For many seniors, the loss of independence, loss of the familiar comforts and surroundings of home, loss of physical abilities (memory, vision, hearing, mobility), and loss of a routine may all contribute to feelings of grief, which can lead to isolation and loneliness.
Anyone who comes to visit or regularly checks in by phone or Skype should be aware that grief and loneliness are common in assisted living, even though residents do not truly live alone in this care setting. Be sure that your loved one is able to make connections on an ongoing basis with those people who are most important to them, either by letter, by phone or through visits (providing stamps, phone numbers, or transportation as needed). Support them in these times of sadness and watch for signs of depression too. Read more here.