Loneliness among seniors is reaching epidemic proportions. As society changes and we no longer live in close-knit communities, isolation is felt mostly among the oldest members. Almost 20% of seniors are isolated, either socially or because they live in a more remote area. A quarter of seniors who are 70 and over say they are lonely. Some seniors feel loneliness more than others, depending on their personality. Whether you like a lot of alone time or not, there are ways to fight against loneliness and isolation.
Senior virtual centres
These can be video chat services that link seniors to one another. They also provide online classes, activities and discussions. Getting involved with other seniors boosts the mental health of those who live in areas. This is helpful when it isn’t always easy to visit with friends or family. These virtual centres make it easier to find new friends. This can give seniors something to look forward to each day.
Get busy with hobbies
Seniors with lots of hobbies and interests always find things to do. Social isolation doesn’t seem to affect them the same way it might affect others. It often depends on interests. Group hobbies and events are always best but if you don’t live in an area where it’s easy to get around, the more hobbies you have that can be done solo, the better it is for you. Some examples would be listening to music or playing an instrument, painting, various crafts, writing or gardening. Many seniors who are collectors state how satisfying it is to be able to concentrate on growing their collections.
If you’re healthy enough, a pet does wonders for your health. Pets provide companionship and love and give us a reason to get up each day. Consider taking in an abandoned pet and providing it with a home. Always make sure that the pet you pick is suited to your abilities and way of life.
A life of isolation often goes unnoticed for many seniors. Family members should check on relatives. If you have elderly neighbours make sure they are not spending all of their time alone. Click here to read about a study on seniors in the city of Hamilton, Ontario.