As of age 60 or older, 27% of Americans live alone, according to the Pew Research Center. According to the study, nearly a quarter of seniors 65 and older who live alone experience social isolation, which can cause loneliness and serious health problems, including early death. Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social isolation is linked to a 50% increased risk of dementia. People who are socially isolated frequently have no support network.
Friendships are essential to a person’s health at any age. Still, they are particularly necessary for senior citizens who are isolated from others due to living alone, whether it be out of choice, because of the death of a spouse, because they have no children, or because their family is far away. Louis Cozolino, a psychology professor at Pepperdine University, believes that relating to others is the most meaningful and pivotal experience for our survival and well-being.
Friendships also give single adults support. In a study for the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Eric Lenze, a geriatric psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine notes that older adults with higher levels of social support have better emotional health and physical and brain health.
From Milne’s stories, Winnie the Pooh understood the value of friendship. Right at Home advises you to heed his counsel if you are an elderly person living alone. We don’t have to be socially isolated as we get older just because we live alone. There are numerous ways to meet new people, rekindle old friendships, and maintain a fulfilling life as you age alone. For instance:
Look for senior citizen-friendly activities at the YMCA or gym in your community. Many offer senior citizens exercise classes. You’ll socialize with others in addition to working out frequently.
Learn about the senior center in your area and other available services. Visit a local senior center to socialize with other seniors, participate in activities, or join a card club.
Attend a course. Inquire about classes offered at the YMCA, local library, or senior center. Others who share your interests can be found. Additionally, you’ll exercise your brain, and who doesn’t enjoy learning new things?
Consider adopting an older dog or cat if you enjoy animals and can care for one physically and financially. A pet can provide comfort, even though it cannot replace people.
Join a reading group. One can be found at your community’s YMCA, senior center, or library. Volunteer.
The internet can serve as a platform for socializing, meeting new people, and reconnecting with old acquaintances. Right offers several ideas at Home:
The Seniors Guide to Computers is a good place to start if you’re not familiar with computers. The website provides you with information in plain language.
Facebook is a platform that we are all familiar with. Look for old acquaintances, high school or college classmates, or local organizations that share your interests.
Nextdoor – Join Nextdoor for the latest information on local events and businesses, conversations with people in your area, and items for sale and purchase.
If you aren’t a member, think about joining AARP. The group offers articles on how to stay connected online, volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood, book clubs, and tutorials, among many other fascinating subjects.
Check out Senior Planet, which was created in collaboration with AARP. Its website provides lessons, activities, and programs for seniors to learn new things, get active, and socialize. If you’re not computer literate, Senior Planet offers a course to bring you up to speed.
Think online games are only for children? Think again. Connect to Pogo to play games like Scrabble or chess. You might even find someone with whom to engage in a friendly challenge.
A free online discussion board for baby boomers and people 50 and older is called SENIORSonly Club.
Online resources for seniors are expanding daily. Find out what’s available online by searching, then think about joining a few.
Get out of your corner and make some friends, Winnie the Pooh advises. Your participation will help you thrive, live well, make friends, and end loneliness, whether in your neighborhood or online, whether you’re a solo ager or not.
Through the advantages of social interaction, Right at Home’s professionally trained caregivers offer services that encourage healthy living and well-being. To support seniors in maintaining social interactions, caregivers offer wellness support, meal preparation, light housekeeping, and other services like mobility assistance, hygiene services, and transportation. Use our location finder to find the office’s phone number closest to you if you’re interested in speaking with someone to learn more.
Give a friend this article to encourage them to “get out of their corner and make some friends.”