Senior Socialization for Introverted Older Adults
Prepare yourself…the holiday season is here! Even though there are many people who flourish on the frenzied pace of celebrations and parties, there are just as many who cringe at the thought of stepping out of their comfort zone and into more large-scale social commitments. It may simply come down to one integral difference: extroversion vs. introversion. When it comes to senior socialization, it is important to know which category the older adults in your life lean towards more, in order to help them feel most comfortable.
What’s the Difference Between Extroverts and Introverts?
The truth is none of us are totally one or the other. Think of a continuum with introversion on one side and extroversion on the other. All of us fall somewhere along that continuum. The chief traits of introversion include a more reserved, quiet, and internally-focused perspective, whereas extroversion involves a more outward focus: sociable, talkative, and action-oriented.
It’s interesting to know that psychologists believe we grow more introverted with time, in a condition known as “intrinsic maturation.” So even if a senior you love once fully enjoyed and drew energy from highly social environments, you may notice a transformation towards feeling more content with smaller, more intimate social scenes or even just spending more time alone.
Realizing that socializing is vital to a senior’s health and wellness, how can you help a more introverted person enjoy time together with loved ones and friends, not only during the holidays, but all year long? These recommendations can help.
- Settle into the perimeter. Rather than motivating the senior to be front and center in a social setting, find a quieter location at the edge of the group, where they can talk with one or two people at a time.
- Designate a companion. Having one trusted, close family member, friend or caregiver to stay near the senior adds a measure of familiarity and comfort to what may seem like an overwhelming setting.
- Decide on a specific exit time. Talk with the senior about how much time may be comfortable for visiting. If they prefer to stay for just an hour, for instance, be sure to respect that request and be prepared to leave when they are.
How Can a Caregiver Help?
A caregiver from CareWorks Health Services provides the perfect opportunity for the one-on-one socialization that more introverted seniors need. Some of the numerous ways we can help include:
- Going to holiday parties with the older adult to make sure all of their needs are met in the most comfortable setting
- Offering companionship at home for discussions and activities that are fun for the senior
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to a small-group class or to learn a new hobby they’ve always wanted to try
- And more
Contact CareWorks Health Services, the Mission Viejo senior services experts, at (949) 859-4700 to find more techniques to help an older adult you love enjoy the highest possible quality of life, and to discover how a professional caregiver can help. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.