“My mom is alone for most of the week other than my visits. Sometimes it is by choice but other times I think she may be feeling lonely. A friend told me that loneliness can lead to depression. Learning about social engagement has helped me understand where I can offer the most helpful to my mom.”
– A caregiver from London, ON
As a caregiver, you may be responsible for planning and preparing social outings and appointments. Depending on a person’s level of frailty, you may be one of the only people they socialize with.
It can be upsetting to see the person you care for alone or unengaged. You might be wondering:
This module may help you answer some of these questions.
The following are definitions of terms that are used throughout this module. Understanding and differentiating between each of these terms can be helpful when communicating with people in your social network, or with health care professionals.
Social engagement is when a person is involved in meaningful activities with others and is maintaining close, fulfilling relationships.
Social isolation results when a person has very rare contact with others.
Loneliness is a feeling that results from wanting to be connected to other people, but believing that those people and connections are not there.
Depression is the result of feeling sad on a daily basis for two weeks or more. Depression may cause a person to feel helpless, hopeless, and perhaps, like a burden to others.Learning Outcomes
By the end of this module you will be able to:
Did you know?