November 2, 2022


Introverted seniors tend to enjoy keeping to themselves, but staying socially engaged is vital for mental health, particularly during the holidays.

Get ready…the holiday season is here! Even though there are plenty of people who thrive on the frenzied pace of celebrations and parties, there are an equal number of us who wince at the idea of stepping outside of our comfort zones and into more intensive social obligations. It might simply boil down to one integral difference: extroversion vs. introversion. And it is worthwhile to know which distinction the older adults in your life lean more towards, so you can ensure that they stay socially engaged in ways that feel most comfortable to them.

What Is the Difference Between Introverts and Extroverts?

The reality is none of us are completely one versus the other. Think of a continuum with introversion on one end and extroversion on the other. We all fall somewhere along that continuum. The main attributes of introversion include a more quiet, reserved, and internally-focused attitude, whereas extroversion consists of a more outward focus: sociable, talkative, and action-oriented.

It’s intriguing to know that psychologists believe we grow more introverted over time, in a phenomenon identified as “intrinsic maturation.” So just because a senior you love once fully took pleasure in and drew energy from highly social settings, you may observe a change towards feeling more self-contained and satisfied with smaller, more intimate social scenes or even just being alone.

Knowing that socialization is crucial to a senior’s health and wellness, how can you help a more introverted senior enjoy time together with friends and family, not just during the holidays, but all year long? These tips from our experts in St Louis and Town and Country care services can help.

  • Choose the perimeter. Rather than encouraging the senior to be front and center in a social setting, pick a quieter spot at the edge of the group, where they can chat with one or two people at a time.
  • Designate a companion. Having one trusted, close family member, friend or caregiver near the person adds a measure of familiarity and comfort to what may seem like an overwhelming setting.
  • Decide on a specified exit time. Talk with the individual about how much time might be comfortable for socializing. If they prefer to stay for just an hour, for example, be sure to honor that request and be ready to leave when they are.

How Can a Caregiver Help?

A caregiver from Continuum, a trusted provider of Town and Country care services and home care throughout the surrounding areas, offers the perfect opportunity for the one-on-one socialization that more introverted people need. Some of the many ways we can help include:

  • Attending holiday events with the senior to ensure all of their needs are met in the most comfortable setting
  • Offering companionship in the home for conversations and activities that are enjoyable for the person
  • Providing transportation and accompaniment to a small-group class or to learn a new pastime they’ve always wanted to try
  • And more

Reach out to us at (314) 863-9912 or (636) 861-3336 to find more recommendations to help an older adult you love stay socially engaged and enjoy the best possible quality of life, and to find out how a professional caregiver can help.