According to the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 34% of people between the ages of 65 and 75 were living alone at home. It is predicted that this rate will substantially increase in the upcoming years and will reach an all-time high by the year 2050.
Senior isolation is an alarmingly serious problem that causes emotional problems like depression. In fact, it increases the mortality rate in senior citizens and makes them more vulnerable. It’s not about where they are living but more about their lifestyle and social life.
Here are a few tips that will help senior citizens tackle loneliness:
Easier said than done… isn’t that what you were thinking? It’s all about making some effort and you will have plenty of opportunities. Why not go to a park in the morning and join an informal exercise club. There are other places too such as health clubs, churches, travel clubs and educational classes. They present a wealth of opportunities for you to interact with people and start something new. Friendships made at this age are more valuable because you bond over your past and things you have faced in your life.
Volunteering your talents and time to any place can bring a positive change in your life. Such places allow you to interact with people on a deeper level. Check the senior center in your local area and find out what positions are open where you can not only enjoy but polish your talents too.
The best thing about hobbies is that they encourage forward-thinking and motivate you. Depending on your mobility, you can take up any hobby. Don’t limit yourself to what you know and can do. Go for something different and that presents a challenge.
Here are a few ideas:
Pets love unconditionally. Isn’t that enough to get one? They don’t judge, they don’t criticize and they are very accepting. Moreover, they are a great cure for depression!
Don’t feel like eating alone? Why not invite your neighbors over for a one-dish party. This will help you combat loneliness and strengthen your relationship with others on the block. If transport is available to you, then make a habit of eating outside with friends at least once a week.
If you are not big on exercise, then take a morning walk with one of your neighbors and then invite them over for breakfast. The more social you are, the more you will be able to let go of your depression.
Combating loneliness is not that hard. Whether you are living alone, in a nursing home or with family, you need to take out time for yourself and enjoy your life. Age is just a number and restricting yourself because your time has gone doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with like-minded people.