Loneliness among seniors: What can be done to break the isolation?
Loneliness among the elderly is a phenomenon that is spreading to the point of becoming truly worrying.
There are many reasons for this. The causes are not always easy to pinpoint.
Let’s take a look at these and try to suggest a few solutions to combat loneliness among the elderly.
The causes of loneliness among seniors
The first criterion that can lead to loneliness is loss of autonomy.
The first effect of this is often the isolation of the elderly, who gradually become housebound. Isolation is, in a way, the beginning of solitude. Add to that the loss of a spouse or illness, and it becomes inescapable!
There are other, more insidious causes of loneliness, such as poverty.
Some seniors have to cope with very modest incomes, which often prevent them from taking part in social activities and reduce their mobility.
Fear of going out, mainly because of falls, is another factor that can lead to loneliness. The network of friends inevitably diminishes over time, and the geographic distance from family, increasingly common, reinforces the isolation of seniors.
Solutions – loneliness among seniors is not inevitable
To overcome loneliness, it’s essential to be as active as possible, according to your possibilities.
But long before that, keeping your mind occupied is a fundamental aspect.
Many seniors no longer have any particular goals, and are therefore much more susceptible to the phenomenon of loneliness. Health permitting, volunteering is probably one of the most rewarding activities for a senior citizen!
It will bring you into contact with people and help you make friends with like-minded people.
Hosting a student is also an excellent way to break the solitude and, above all, to keep up with the times, in contact with young people.
Last but not least, taking part in activities or joining a club is often a lifesaver in the face of loneliness.
What to do in situations where loneliness can no longer be overcome?
Unfortunately, depending on the elder’s state of health, the above suggestions can no longer be implemented.
If someone close to you finds themselves in this situation, visiting them regularly and helping them with their various daily tasks will be a great comfort to them.
However, this is not always easy to organize, and most of the time it will be necessary to enlist the help of a structure. They can take charge of your relative and help him or her cope with loneliness and isolation.
Nevertheless, given the current ageing of the population, everyone should be concerned by this problem and try, in one way or another, to mobilize to combat the loneliness of the elderly.