How to Deal With Loneliness

Last Updated: 31.10.20

 

There are many ways in which seniors can deal with loneliness, especially if the situation is one that can lead to depression, which can really pose health issues. Among these, one can look at volunteering, adopting a pet, or picking up a hobby, so if you are looking at a good camera for seniors, you are not wrong in making this choice. 

The truth is that many seniors lack social networks and support, especially if their family members are working in other parts of the country or the world. While globalization has brought us so many benefits throughout time, it also brought the aspect of long-distance into our lives, and seniors might feel it more now than in the past.

It’s true that we live in the age of technology, and that there are multiple ways in which we can stay connected with our loved ones. On the other hand, this may seem like a somewhat difficult task for seniors who are not always up to date with everything that is possible online. Therefore, if family members are not always present in their lives, they can start feeling depressed. 

It’s important to acknowledge the fact that seniors often experience a loss in physical strength as well, and many times they think about the days in which they were able to go to work and do many other things. This sort of thinking, in the absence of a pleasant and engaging activity, can lead to the beginning of a depression, and this is something that should be avoided. 

With millions of people around the world dealing with depression, it is clear that we are not talking about feeling down for a day or two, but about a serious condition that can lead to many other health issues. For this reason, just as is the case with everything else in life, it’s always better to prevent something from happening than trying to treat it later. 

So the natural question that appears is “so, what are some of the things that can be done?”. The good part is that with a bit of initiative, you can definitely make a difference in terms of activities that a senior family member can engage in, thus improving his or her state of mind and overall quality of life. Therefore, let’s see what some of these ideas are. 

 

Friends

We know that this one seems like such an obvious answer, especially for young people, but it’s important to keep in mind that after a while, people tend to have the same friends and rarely make new ones that are outside of an already established circle. This is actually the best-case scenario because, in other cases, seniors don’t really have a circle of friends to spend time with. 

Therefore, if someone in your family could use some pleasant company, it’s a very good idea to make an effort to actually meet new people. In fact, there are many other seniors who would definitely appreciate having someone to share opinions and news with. 

A simple and nice companionship could grow into a close friendship after a while, and this is even more important for the mind, and it ensures the necessary emotional support. The good news is that many communities host activities for seniors, so one can start from there and see how it works. 

Local groups and organizations that revolve around traveling or educational classes can add a lot of value. The next steps are to actually participate in such activities and introduce oneself to new people. If you want to find a nice activity and group for someone in your family, you may have to do some convincing for them to participate in the first place. 

On the other hand, you can also tag along for the first few meetups and see how it works, until your family member gets the hang of things. However, if we’re talking about a generally sociable person that simply doesn’t have his or her family nearby for whatever reason, then getting them to join a club or organization is not going to be an issue. 

While meeting new people is exciting, one should not forget about old friends either. It’s always a good moment to pick up the phone and see what they are doing these days. Studies show that having friends in our lives contributes in a significant way to our mental health, so while this piece of advice might seem rather obvious, this doesn’t make it any less important. 

Volunteer or Get a Hobby 

Volunteering is the type of activity that can enrich both your mind and soul. There are many things that a senior can do in terms of volunteering, especially given that we’re talking about people who already have a lot of experience in many areas. Moreover, it’s always nice to share your knowledge and skills with others. 

Besides the beneficial aspect of volunteering, in general, there’s another benefit that seniors, in particular, gain from taking up such an activity, namely having a purpose. After an active life in which they have done many things, it’s a bit hard for seniors to feel like they are no longer needed or capable of doing something, so this is where volunteering can definitely help. 

No matter if we’re talking about teaching piano lessons or taking care of small animals at a shelter, as long as the person is capable of doing something well from a physical point of view, then it’s a good idea to give it a shot. 

Along the same lines, one can think about taking up a hobby or rediscovering an old one. If the senior member sets goals, then there’s a challenge as well. For instance, knitting something for a grandson or starting up a coin collection. There are plenty of ideas when it comes to hobbies. 

From gardening and playing an instrument to reading books, solving puzzles, or writing a novel, anything is possible, especially since senior members can dedicate their full attention to the task. 

Get a Pet 

Pets are such wonderful creatures that enrich our lives every day, and they can be a great companion for an elderly person who wants to have a nice activity. Whether we’re talking about a dog or a cat, it’s a great way to maybe go out and take long walks, meet some new people or other pet owners and share some nice and fun moments. 

One can also join online groups in which to share funny videos and photos with other pet lovers, so it’s an overall enriching and fun activity. Moreover, pets also provide emotional support, and the trick here is to make sure that a senior person gets the right pet. It shouldn’t become a burden in the long run, which may be the case if, let’s say, they go for a representative of a highly active dog breed. 

It’s important to make sure that our senior family members can easily take care of the chosen pet, so that’s a major point to keep in mind. Once this is established, what’s left is exploring all the joys that a little furry friend can bring. If we’re talking about dogs, they can work together, and the senior person can train the pup into a well-behaved adult dog. 

This also means discovering new things about how wonderful animals are every day. They are also very effective in keeping depression at bay, with their loving personalities and cute faces asking for food all the time. Of course, given that there are so many online resources as well, making funny videos with pets can also be an option when it comes to elderly family members. 

They might even discover that they have skills in putting together videos and images, so this can become a hobby in the long run. If they join YouTube as well, they may even start making some money if they get enough views. The most important thing is to simply get started and see where having a pet can go. 

From going out for walks to providing online entertainment, the possibilities are practically endless, which is excellent for someone who has a lot of time available. Plus, a pet can provide a sense of purpose as well. After all, it’s pretty similar to taking care of a small child, and most elderly family members have already been through this once, so this will seem both easy and fun, as long as they have the physical capacity to keep up with the little friend. 

 

 

Ioana Moldovan

Ioana is a lifelong learner with extensive work experience in the public health field. She is passionate about science and psychology and is constantly curious about how these can change people’s lives for the better. Her goal is to gather valuable information that can help her readers.

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