Most of us feel a powerful need for a sense of connection to a group and a source of friendship. We know deep down that we are not self-sufficient. We need each other to make up the parts that we are missing. That’s where tips to banish loneliness in seniors comes in.
But before we get to that, let’s point out that connection and loneliness mean different things to different people. What is connection for one person, is stifling for another, and what one person calls loneliness, might be close to bliss for the next person.
The Plus Points in Having Connection and Friendship
Connection breeds creativity, and fosters friendships. There are so many good things about having friendship. These are a few of them:
- Feeling happiness
- Studies show that feeling lonely can affect a person’s health. The UK appointed the world’s first Minister of Loneliness to be on top of the issues caused by social and health issues caused by loneliness.
- Gives a person a feeling that they ‘belong’ and have a purpose.
- A source of self-confidence and self-worth even at times of challenge.
- Good friends influence good habits in a person.
- Friends can help a person deal with stressful issues.
- Help you to accept and understand yourself.
- Being together makes you stronger against elder-fraud.
Why Some People Prefer to be Alone
There is a difference between being ‘alone’ and being ‘lonely’.
Dr. John T. Cacioppo, Ph.D. In his research put forward that being alone, such as in living alone and being socially isolated is being in a physical state of not being with other people. However, being lonely or feeling loneliness is an emotional state of being distressed and separated.
A person can be among other people and feel lonely; they can be alone and not feel lonely!
Some people prefer to be alone:
- Avoids being directed or negative influence of an acquaintance
- They are afraid of being let down in hard times
- A person can have time to think things through
- They do not want to be dependent on others for support
10 Tips to Banish Chronic Loneliness in Seniors
But we need to be aware of the divider between being alone and loneliness.
Use the following tips for yourself or for a fellow senior who needs a boost of friendship and connection.
- Think about the person’s unique life story and personality. If you understand the what is missing you will know what to offer in place.
- Call by phone and chat. Schedule a regular time.
- Text, Skype or message – and what else does modern technology offer?
- Find a collection item that you have in common. Be it stamp collecting or Barbie dolls, collections are fun and a good bridge to friendship.
- Friendship and connection works over a long-distance since it is an emotion. Send letters, cards, photos by snail mail or electronically.
- Transport to visit a friend or a social group – if you cannot drive, there may volunteer transport groups in your area.
- Offer to volunteer for someone or an organization.
- Look after yourself since physical health can be a starting point for emotional well-being – eat well, sleep well, watch your health.
- Learn something new, such as a social skill or a language. Find social opportunities to practice your new skill.
- Do something old, new – do something familiar in a new way. Take your daily walk along a different route and meet new people.
These tips to banish loneliness in seniors are a good start to finding connection!
Tips to banish loneliness in seniors are dry tips. One of the best ways to avoid a feeling of loneliness is to become a source of positive, friendly energy. That will bring these tips to life. Everyone likes to be near a senior who glows with a sense of connection and friendship.