Did you know that 43% of seniors in the U.S. repeatedly feel alone on a regular basis? This was the result of a study conducted by researchers from the University of California. Even though people like to shrug it off, describing it as a “passing negative feeling”, loneliness may leave a serious mark on an aging adult. The same study showed that adults above their 60s who are constantly solitary see a 45% increase in their risk for death. Even worse, abandoned elderly are more likely to degrade at an accelerated rate both mentally and physically. However, the most shocking revelation is that most elders who described themselves as lonely do indeed live with their spouse or a partner. This proves that loneliness doesn’t necessary come from isolation but the poor quality of relationships with others.
Teach Them to Catch a Fish… with a Phone
One would think that it’s easy to battle the feeling of loneliness in our current age, where everyone can be reached with a tap on a smartphone or by sending an email. However, elderly find it difficult to handle modern technology. Even though a tablet or a smartphone could be an answer for their problems, simply gifting them one and briefly showing them how things work is not enough. Instead, family members could enroll them for a tech course in a local library or community center, where experts patiently and thoroughly educate seniors about the ins and outs of computers and smart gadgets. But even when they’re online and connected to the outside world, you should frequently ring them up and have a little chat. Calling them on fixed moments during the week gives them something to look forward to, further contributing to their contentment.
Support Them to Try out New Hobbies
Crosswords, games and regular physical exercise are good ways to halt the degradation of the body and mind, but you should still insist on them leaving the house every once in a while. Getting into town should be no problem, since public transport is more accessible than ever and affordable for elderly, or they can call an Uber. In case they are tech-savvy enough to use social media such as Facebook, then help them reconnect with old friends who can be visited later on. Getting involved in community activities is also a nice idea. Book clubs, debates, quizzes and bingo nights are popular events attracting many seniors. You should also recommend your aging relative to start writing a diary. It not only keeps the mind in shape, but also makes it easier for them to keep track and remember all their activities and hobbies.
Help Them Find Companionship Online
Unlike what the name would first suggest, senior dating sites aren’t just about romance. Senior FriendFinder, is a good example for aging adults, as it’s a space where they can chat, write blog articles and partake in forum activities. It even allows elderly couples to share the same account. As you can see, these kinds of “dating” sites are more like social media platforms for the elderly, with the added option to develop romance. Being active on a dating site also provides a fun new activity for your aging relatives, something that keeps them invested. They can also get in touch with other seniors all around the world and share memories.
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