The idea of living alone when you’re young seems free and exciting, but as you get older, the loneliness starts to sink in. It’s a heartbreaking fact that many elderly US citizens live alone and don’t socialize enough. While there are a number of factors that contribute to this, one of the most common is that many of their older loved ones have passed away. Being old isn’t all doom and gloom; there are ways to get out there and start socializing with the world again.
Reach Out to Family
If you have a loving family, then you should reach out to them. Not everyone has the privilege of family living close by, but even if they live far, you can still pick up the phone and have a much-needed chat. While you should talk about all the goings-on in each other’s lives, you should also express the loneliness you feel. Many seniors don’t open up about it, but if you do, you might find that your family travels to see you more often. The first step is speaking up!
The idea of assisted living may worry you, especially if you are an independent person. The truth is, there are some excellent assisted living programs that will welcome you into a community while allowing you to live the life you love. Whether you need high-level care or only small amounts, assisted living will allow you to interact with nurses and other seniors, so you can build friendships while improving your quality of life.
Many seniors find they don’t know what to do with their hands once they retire. After all, if you have worked for fifty years, the jump to retirement is dramatic and even scary. That doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to society, as there are plenty of volunteer programs you can sign up for.
Find a program that speaks to your heart, like feeding the homeless or helping abandoned animals, and meet like-minded people while contributing some good to the world.
Keep Up with Tech
Technology is everywhere. While many elderly people struggle to use it, there are training courses out there specifically designed to get you up to scratch with all the latest tech advancements.
The ability to use a smartphone and laptop can transform your social life. Social media allows you to connect with friends and family from all around the world, and there are also plenty of communities for you to join. If you have a knack for gardening, then find an online community and share your wisdom! As a senior, you have so much wisdom to pass on, so why not do that in an online community?
Greet Your Neighbors
With the prevalence of tech, the world seems to have become less open in-person, and nobody understands this better than the elderly. That shouldn’t stop you from greeting your neighbors and inviting them round for tea! If you haven’t yet introduced yourself, or you only say hello now and again, then put yourself out there and go around for a chat. You never know, you might find a life-long friend just down the street.
Pick Up the Phone
If seeing people in real life is difficult, then make use of your phone. Make it a habit to give your friends and family a call now and again, and you could even schedule a weekly slot with them! If you have grandchildren who live far, then keep up with them by talking to them on the phone often. While it isn’t the same as watching them grow up (which is where the internet can help!), you will still be able to hear all their fantastic stories and likewise share your own.
Attend Community Events
Have a look at what your community is doing and throw yourself into it! With trivia nights, parades, and community meetings, you can be a part of the people around you and make fast friendships. You will most likely find many other elderly folks there, so introduce yourself to like-minded people and contribute your wealth of wisdom to your community.
Join a Club
Joining a club is a great way to socialize with like-minded people. Look at what is going on in your community and find a group that interests you. If you are an avid reader, then the chances are there is a weekly or monthly book club you could join to talk over the latest read. Having a scheduled time to socialize with others gives you something fun to look forward to and wards off the loneliness.
Travel Around More
If you find yourself holed up in your home, then put yourself out there and travel around more. This can be as simple as heading down to your local café or library. The chances are, there will be other folks there who are all too happy to chat, and you might just meet a great friend.
If you find your mobility has lessened and you struggle to get out and about, then choosing assisted living could greatly improve your quality of life. It will give you the assistance you need while welcoming you into a community of other seniors.
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Join Your Local Church
Being a part of a church is more than just faith; it is also about a loving community. If you are religious and haven’t yet joined a church, then consider doing so. Not only will you strengthen your faith, but you will also find others who are doing the same who will welcome you with open arms. Churches tend to put on many community events, too, so pop down and make some great friendships.
No matter how lonely you feel, there are always ways for you to get out there and socially connect with others, even if you physically struggle. With the rise of technology and the number of other seniors craving a connection, there is no shortage of people to talk to; it just takes the first step of putting yourself out there.