Senior Citizen Loneliness is Curable

Jan 18th, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Some years ago, a speaker, who impressed me very much, noted in his lecture that “loneliness is epidemic, up and down every street.”  I don’t recall his having given any statistics to prove it so, but the impact of the concept hit me hard.  

Today, that reminder is all the more true.  The numbers of people facing foreclosures, the vast and fast growing unemployed, those who have lived alone and find that less and less a desirable situation, those who are captive in facilities for older persons, those who are miles from family and faced with a diminishing number of friends all are part of the flood of loneliness faced by people today.

In spite of all the causal factors that infect the mainstream course of life, loneliness is still a curable condition.   Unless, it is diagnosed as a depression requiring medication, the symptoms of loneliness can be quelled.  It takes some doing, to be sure, but it is possible for good and wholesome persons to find ways to head off the  “lonesome blues.”

Here are some suggestions:  (note these apply to various circumstances regarding where one lives, services available, mobility, etc.)

  • Can you/do you/would you enjoy having a pet?  Pets, by definition, are companions and offer enormous emotional benefits for interaction, affection, and attention.
  • Wherever you live, what are the steps you may take in encouraging persons to drop by?  Serving tea and cookies (or beer and pretzels) may offer incentive for guests to make a call.
  • What games do you enjoy?  Table games offer the opportunity for inviting more than one person for a morning or afternoon soiree.  Keep the card table up, put on a pot of coffee and let the games begin. If limitations prevent actual human participation and you are computer proficient, join a games club online.
  • Are you  able to circulate? Can you still drive?  Do you enjoy movies, just walking in a mall, having lunch somewhere, calling on someone themselves undergoing loneliness?  If so, initiative is your opportunity to decrease the blues for you and others. Running errands for others is also a good contribution to your life and theirs.
  • Depending on your age, are you still able to go out in the evening?  Are there those you might join in an evening’s concert, dramatic production, and countless other occasions?  Worried about money?  Budget yourself accordingly, but do not imprison yourself in your own cell.
  • Look for activities of all kinds that might appeal to you.  Determine your own means for going and doing and being a part of activities.   Some people just need a nudge.  You can be the energy behind that nudge. 
  • For solitary activities, in which you can eliminate the boredom of loneliness, read!  Join reading clubs, frequent the library, keep up with all kinds of events that stimulates your ability to converse.   By all means, do not allow the television to become your only or primary means for entertainment or involvement.  Reading today includes a variety of options, which helps one deal with vision and other issues.

The operative words for dealing with this phenomenon of loneliness are:  Initiative, energy, choice, gregariousness, and movement.   All of these will contribute to your having a more healthy sense of self and more satisfactory daily routine.

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