5 Ways to Fight Senior Isolation and Loneliness
We’ve all experienced the feeling of being alone. Because we can’t share pleasant times with anyone, it makes our world a little grayer and happier moments a little duller. COVID has exacerbated loneliness by requiring seclusion, but seniors are particularly prone to what many health experts refer to as a “loneliness epidemic” even outside of the present pandemic context.
What Factors Influence Senior Isolation and Loneliness?
Isolation of senior citizens is regrettably all too typical. Many elderly people live alone at home, typically following the death of a loved one. Seniors may become housebound or go out less due to reduced mobility or a lack of physical activity. Feelings of isolation may occur without frequent visits from family or friends, preventing you from enjoying your fullest, most vibrant life.
Building Genuine Human Connections and Reducing Senior Loneliness
It’s important for seniors to know that they’re not alone. Your next-door neighbor may be experiencing similar sentiments of loneliness and isolation and is just waiting for someone to knock and say hi. The cure for loneliness is to form true human connections. Here are five methods to do just that and later in life find joy, purpose, and new friendships.
- Get to know your neighbors to help you feel less isolated.
It’s not easy to put yourself out there to meet people in your community, but the rewards can be life-changing. “Knowing as few as six neighbors lessens the likelihood of feeling lonely and is connected to lower sadness, social anxiety, and financial concerns related to COVID-19,” according to a global study published in 2020. Maintaining contact with your neighbors does not necessitate any great gestures. Small acts of kindness, such as offering to advise new neighbors, assisting with grocery deliveries, or just waving hello as you pass by, were also found to lessen the likelihood of feeling lonely, according to the study.
- Get involved in the community to combat loneliness.
Everyone has something special to give their community in terms of skills and talents. Perhaps it’s a green thumb, an artistic side, or simply a desire to lend a hand wherever it’s needed. Volunteering is a fantastic method to accomplish this while also meeting new people. Volunteering options in your neighborhood, such as tending to local gardens, teaching children after school, or assisting in the preparation of care packages for people in need, can be found by searching online or asking a neighbor.
- Get and keep active to avoid senior isolation.
Staying active has numerous health benefits for older individuals, but it’s also one of the most efficient strategies to combat loneliness when done in a communal setting. It’s not simple, though, to find the drive to get and stay active. It’s important to remember that leading an active senior lifestyle does not need you to go to the gym every day and work up a sweat. Joining a neighborhood walking club or, if immobility is a problem, working on a puzzle with a friend can help you enhance your general wellness while also keeping you connected to others.
- Do you or someone you know suffer from senior loneliness? Inquire for assistance.
When we’re lonely, sometimes the toughest thing to do is just tell someone. It’s easy to feel like you’re a burden. Perhaps you were taught to rely on yourself rather than others. Those who boldly take the initial step toward getting help, however, will find a wealth of tools to assist them in coping. The National Institute on Aging’s Social Isolation and Loneliness Outreach Toolkit and AARP’s Connect 2Tools are terrific places to start. Consider contacting a mental health professional for help and coping skills if you’re suffering signs of senior depression and feelings of loneliness, such as loss of appetite or energy.
- Consider relocating to a senior living complex.
Nearly one-third of all seniors live by themselves, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s only natural for folks who have lost their spouse to experience feelings of loneliness. Older persons often want to keep their independence and stay at home as they age, but loneliness can be a harmful side effect.
Senior living homes can help with this. Seniors who live in a senior living community benefit not only from improved health and wellness but also from increased socializing. From the stress-free lifestyle that allows you to pursue your passions to the large range of activities available, there are several ways to get to know your neighbors, get engaged, and remain active.
Goodbye senior loneliness, hello life with the Silverbell Homestead Difference
Our objective at Silverbell Homestead is to assist our people find joy, purpose, and friends they can call family. Our cutting-edge wellness program aims to bring residents together and prevent loneliness by providing enriching and engaging activities.
If you or a loved one is considering assisted living, we’d love to CONNECT with you.
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