As we grow older, it can be difficult to maintain friendships. There are many reasons for this:
- Physical and mental changes happen as we age.
- Busy schedules.
- The lack of time for socializing.
However, loneliness is a severe problem for elders and can lead to depression or early death.
Follow these tips on how to combat loneliness in your own life and encourage others to do so as well!
The essential existence of social life should never be underestimated, especially as we age.
Sometimes we might take for granted loved ones and friends, thinking they’ll always surround us. This is especially true when we’re younger and constantly around friends from school or university.
Unfortunately, growing up and becoming a working professional can drive many people away from your life, either involuntarily or voluntarily. And in the end, you get left with two close friends you can truly rely on. Three, if you’re lucky.
Friendships provide us with love, support, and a connection to the world around us. They can help us feel more connected and purposeful in life, which is crucial for happiness and well-being at any age.
And humans are social creatures. No lockdown nor pandemics can stop them from seeking social connections. Unless you’re a hermit who wants peace 24/7, you are destined to crave interaction with others.
Elders particularly have a tough time forming new friendships. If you are wondering where to find like-minded people or know someone who needs such social connections, here is a list of ways to combat loneliness for elders.
You can join sports or an art class, which will allow social interaction and possibly new friends.
If you don’t feel comfortable joining something alone, try asking someone else to join so it won’t be a big deal if they say no!
Suppose you’re a professional in a specific niche, for example. In that case, you can organize webinars and educate people online, or even open a Youtube Channel!
Some retired nurses have opened their channels to discuss the current pandemic with their viewers. This way, they’ll form an online community that can make them feel less lonely.
Talk to your close ones or next of kin and tell them you’re feeling lonely and would love to see them more often. You never know; they’ll be more than happy to come to visit or have a conversation on the phone.
Plan regular outings with your friends or family members. This could be anything from brunch once a month to going out for walks every week. The critical step is to make a plan and stick to it!
There are many ways to volunteer your time, and most of them don’t require you to leave your home!
You can offer to help a neighbor carry groceries, talk on the phone with someone who’s feeling lonely, or even start a blog where you share stories about your life.
The possibilities are endless, and the best part is that you’ll be helping others while making friends in the process!
Many retirees feel lonely entrapped at their homes for the rest of their lives. Elders might have family members, but they either live too far or don’t care enough to give them a call.
For this reason, many reach out to retirement homes to feel the hole in their heart. Many retirement homes in Washington, for instance, provide excellent recreational services like yoga, TED talks, and improvisational comedy clubs.
Combating loneliness can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. With some creativity and effort, you can find ways to connect with others and make new friends.