November 2, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille


Hold onto your hats…the holiday season is here! While there are many who thrive on the hectic pace of parties and celebrations, there are just as many who cringe at the idea of stepping out of their comfort zone and into more extensive social obligations. It may simply boil down to one key difference: introversion vs. extroversion. And it’s important to know which category a loved one leans towards, so you can help incorporate the right type of socialization for either an extroverted or introverted senior to help them thrive.

What’s the Difference Between Introverts and Extroverts?

The reality is none of us are fully one or 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 characteristics of introversion include a more quiet, reserved, and internally-focused perspective, while extroversion involves a more outward focus, which typically results in more talkative, sociable, and action-oriented habits.

It’s interesting to note that psychologists believe we grow more introverted with age, in a phenomenon known as “intrinsic maturation.” So even if a senior you love once fully enjoyed and drew energy from highly social settings, you may notice a shift towards feeling more self-contained and content with small, intimate social scenes or even just being alone, and that doesn’t necessarily indicate depression or social withdrawal.

Knowing that socialization is imperative to the health of older adults, how can you help a more introverted senior enjoy time together with family and friends, not just during the holidays, but all year long? These tips can help:

  • Settle into the perimeter. Rather than encouraging the senior to be front and center in a social setting, find a quieter spot at the edge of the group, where they can find comfort in chatting with one or two people at a time.
  • Assign a buddy. Having one close and trusted friend, family member, or caregiver to stay near the senior adds a measure of comfort and familiarity to what may otherwise feel like an overwhelming setting.
  • Agree on a designated exit time. Talk with your loved one about how much time might be comfortable for socializing. If they would like to stay for just an hour, for example, be sure to honor that request and be ready to leave when they are.

How Can Home Care Help?

A caregiver from At Home Independent Living provides the perfect opportunity for the one-on-one socialization that more introverted seniors need. By providing personalized, 1:1 care, some of the many 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 conversations and activities that are enjoyable for the senior to help maintain their interests in the comfort of home.
  • Offering transportation and accompaniment to a small-group class or to learn a new hobby they’ve always wanted to try
  • Virtual monitoring and companionship technology with Electronic Caregiver
  • And more that can be incorporated into the customized plan for care

Contact us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to learn more about options for senior living in Cicero, NY and surrounding areas, with the support needed to help a senior you love enjoy the best possible quality of life. Discover how partnering with a professional caregiver can help improve social engagement and quality of life all year long. Our professional caregivers are available to help the introverted senior in your life enjoy the many benefits of social engagement and independent living around the holidays and all year long. Please see our full service area and get connected with a caregiver in your neighborhood.