Senior Isolation: How to Stay Connected
Back in the day, if you wanted to talk with someone, you walked to his house. If he happened to live the next town over, you drove to him. In today’s world, though, staying social is much different.
Communication technologies now make it possible to instantly connect with anyone around the globe with just a keystroke or mouse click. But even as ways to connect with others is rapidly increasing, the social wellbeing of many seniors is dramatically decreasing. AARP reports that social isolation, which is frequently linked to feeble health and premature death, is a common concern among older individuals. If you feel isolated from others, know that you have options. Whether it’s signing up for a painting class or signing up for Facebook, you can cultivate new relationships and stay in touch with loved ones no matter your location or physical limitations.
Volunteer to Help
Growing a community garden. Playing with puppies. Teaching kids to read. These activities might just sound like fun ways to spend an afternoon, but each is an example of a volunteer opportunity. Non-profit organizations big and small are always looking for eager individuals to help with their needs. When you lend a hand, not only will you provide assistance to a good cause, but also you can get to know others with similar philanthropic passions.
Find a Senior Center
Would you like to meet other seniors, but you’re not quite sure where to find them? Just call up your neighborhood senior center. You might also try your area recreational center or active adult center. Regardless of labels, though, these organizations cater to seniors looking for ways to socialize with other older local residents.
Learn a New Skill
Senior centers offer more than a place to play Canasta. They also provide opportunities to explore different interests. So if you always wanted to sculpt or sew, ask your senior center if they offer that particular class. If they don’t, don’t give up. Art galleries and craft stores often host classes for those who want to pick up a hobby and meet people while doing it.
If health problems restrict your ability to leave your home, you may be wondering how exactly to stay in touch with the rest of the world. In a word? The Internet. Email, Facebook, Skype and other online services now let anyone maintain their social ties regardless of mobility issues. Not sure how to get online? Ask a friend — or perhaps a tech-savvy grandkid — to help you set up your Internet and social media accounts.