The elderly and loneliness
We as a society live in modern times where communication is literally at our fingertips and our love ones are only one click away. However, we as a society are more lonely than we have ever been. With the use of smart phones on the rise having a face-to-face conversation had started to dissipate and loneliness is slowly becoming the norm. No other age group feels this loneliness more than the elderly.
Here are some recent findings found by a study from the University of California on the elderly and how loneliness affects them.
- 18% i’ve seen ears live alone and 43% report feeling lonely on a regular basis
- Lonely seniors are more likely to decline or die faster
- Isolated seniors had a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline more than their social counterpart
Many seniors feel that they are pushed to the side and that their families find him to be a hindrance however there are many things that can be done to rectify this situation:
- Listen and observe: when visiting with the elderly encourage them to have conversations not just the regular “how are you?” or “how was your day?” Ask them to tell you more and ask them what they want to talk about.
- Come up with ways to keep them out of seclusion. Once you’ve found out what your loved one wants to do get them involved in activities. Even if they’re not mobile bring the activities to them. There’s always something that they are able to do.
- Give them the chance to teach you. Let them give you lessons on something they might like to do. For example if your love one likes to play a certain game ask him or her to teach you. It will mentally stimulate them and can also be a learning experience for you.
- Bridge the generation gap. Try to find ways to help the youngest and the oldest generations of your family to spend time together. Bring their grandchildren or great-grandchildren to visit your elderly loved one. Studies have shown that elderly who hang around the younger generation tend to have more mental stability than their counterparts.
- Lastly it’s the thought that counts. Urge all family members to reach out to their elderly loved one. Even a short phone call can do a world of good. Send a card just because, your loved one wants to know that they are still appreciated and a little gesture goes a long way
At the end of the day we know that everyone has responsibilities in their own lives and things might get a little hectic and crazy but just don’t forget without your elderly love you wouldn’t be here so show them some love and appreciation. Don’t let them feel alone.