Hold onto your hats…the holidays are here! Though there are many people who flourish on the frenzied pace of parties and celebrations, there are an equal number of us who cringe at the idea of stepping outside of our comfort zone and into more intensive social requirements. It might simply come down to one main difference: extroversion vs. introversion. And it is important to know which category the seniors in your life lean towards more, so you can ensure the right type of socialization to help them feel most comfortable.
What Is the Difference Between Extroverts and Introverts?
The reality is none of us are entirely one versus the other. Imagine a continuum with introversion on one side and extroversion on the other. We all fall at one point along that continuum. The key characteristics of introversion include a more reserved, quiet, and internally-focused perspective, whereas extroversion involves a more outward focus: sociable, talkative, and action-oriented.
Psychologists believe we grow more introverted as we grow older, in a phenomenon referred to as “intrinsic maturation.” So just because a senior you love once really enjoyed and drew energy from highly social settings, you may notice they shift towards feeling more self-contained and satisfied with small, intimate social scenes or even just spending more time alone.
Knowing that socialization is essential to a senior’s health, how can you help a more introverted senior enjoy time together with family and friends, not only during the holiday season, but all year long? These strategies can help.
- Stay near the perimeter. Instead of encouraging the older adult to be front and center in a social environment, find a quieter spot at the edge of the group, where they can visit with one or two people at a time.
- Designate a buddy. Having one close and trusted family member, friend or caregiver to remain near the senior adds an amount of comfort and familiarity to what may seem like an overpowering setting.
- Decide on a specified exit time. Talk with the senior about how much time might feel comfortable for visiting. If they prefer to stay for just an hour, for example, be sure to respect that decision and be prepared to leave when they are.
How Can a Caregiver Help?
A caregiver from Generations at Home offers the ideal opportunity for the one-on-one socialization that more introverted people need. Some of the numerous ways we can help include:
- Attending holiday gatherings with the senior to ensure all of their needs are met in the most comfortable setting
- Providing companionship at home for discussions and activities that are fun for the senior
- Offering transportation and accompaniment to a small-group class or to learn a new hobby they’ve always wanted to try
- And much more
Call our care team at 727-940-3414 to find more tips to help someone you love enjoy the greatest possible quality of life, and to find out how partnering with a professional caregiver can help.