One of the reasons people look forward to retirement is the increased time to do things they enjoy, like hobbies, traveling, and spending time with loved ones. However, what isn’t considered is the increased loneliness that comes with age. Unfortunately, as they age, seniors lose significant others, relatives, and friends to death, leaving them with few people to enjoy the later years in life with. Consequently, they spend a lot of time feeling lonely.
When unresolved, this loneliness and social isolation can lead to depression and a worsening of senior health. Although there’s nothing anyone can do to prevent losses, there are ways to combat these negative feelings as you age. Continue reading for suggestions.
Schedule Family Visits
Whether you live at home or in a senior living facility, family time is essential to your quality of life. Whenever it’s convenient, find time to spend with relatives. Ask your adult children to come to visit you once a week and have lunch, watch television, or run errands. When your senior community has family days, ensure that you spread the word to people you’d like to spend time with.
Local Community Centers
Many cities have community centers with programs geared towards the elderly. They provide meals, transportation, and activities like bingo, knitting, exercise classes, trips, and more. These are all opportunities to mix and mingle with other seniors in your neighborhood.
As you attend the programs more often, you can begin to cultivate friendships that help combat your loneliness. If you’re a resident at a senior living facility, you can always inquire about their onsite activities that you can participate in for socialization and enjoyment.
Join A Gym
There’s more to having a gym membership than meets the eye, especially if you’re experiencing loneliness. When you visit the gym, you’re automatically surrounded by like-minded individuals that can help you pass the time as you maintain your health. You don’t have to lift weights or use the gym equipment the entire time; there’s always the option to join classes. Whether you try aerobics, swimming, barre, or take a body sculpt class, it’s a chance to interact with others.
Volunteer Your Time
You may not be working anymore, but that doesn’t mean that your skills, experience, and time can’t be put to good use. If you’re feeling lonely, why not volunteer your time to help others? If there’s a school nearby, you can visit and read books to the children. Go to the nearest homeless shelter and volunteer to prepare or serve meals. Maybe you belong to a church that needs assistance with some of their onsite or community outreach programs. When you volunteer your time, it helps you feel less lonely. It also gives you a sense of purpose and boosts your confidence as you assist others.
Utilize Modern Technology
Modern technology has come a long way in helping people around the world to stay connected. If you want to feel a sense of belonging, perhaps you could invest in a few tools and reunite with the rest of the world. You can use video conferencing software to talk to your friends and family that live further away. You could create a social media account and watch videos, share photos, and exchange messages with whomever you’d like.
Although it’s not the same as interacting in person, connecting with others through technology can help bridge the gap when you’re feeling isolated. Talking weekly to someone online or via video will significantly enhance your overall mood and quality of life.
There are many obstacles to overcome as you age. However, one of the most prevalent is combatting isolation and loneliness. As you lose loved ones, your social circle shrinks, leaving you with nowhere to turn. Eventually, you stay to yourself and develop feelings of depression. This doesn’t have to be your story. By using suggestions like those listed above, you can reduce those lonely days and spend your golden years feeling much happier.