Loneliness is being talked about more now than ever. But why now? Is it because of the social media revolution or is it something else?
Loneliness is not new for people who serve seniors in any capacity, and it affects not only the senior of elderly but the person helping the elderly, over the years! Loneliness symptoms and signs are not classic textbook like. People look happy in social situations but are still lonely in their homes, with families, friends, communities… Loneliness can strike anyone.
For decades I saw features of loneliness, that masked like conditions, not responsive to treatments, noncompliance issues, non-mental health related. Some seniors would come to their appointments to be known, understood, felt deeply, connected ….despite having a busy family at home, living in a senior living, senior care home…
Finding companionship is important, difficult and misunderstood as people age. It is more about connecting, appreciating, understanding, empathizing, showing compassion and living life’s simple pleasures. Older people do not want to relive their era of depression, they are keener on heaping affection and focus on a grandchild, sharing recipes, talent, arts, music, culture, beauty of nature.
They are looking for commonalities, age is immaterial, find a trusted resource for help and go about their lives.
Some common ways to help find senior love and companionship:
- Learn their interests, hobbies, likes, dislikes
- Understand what is most important to them, not everyone is same
- Empathize with the past history, but inspire them the positives lurking just around for them
- Focus on their strengths not the weaknesses
- Appreciate simple things yourself, then appreciating others is equally simple
- Connect and bond over time, as some may be distant, but that is not the last impression
- Be aware of caring, sharing, nurturing values, purpose of our lives
- Join a club, society, organization
- Become a member of an organization doing volunteer work dear to one’s heart
- Find a meet and greet , senior center, senior book event, senior programs
- Be a part of a committee in your senior living, neighborhood, community, church etc.
- Revisit and find out what works, what is time consuming, or not worth.
Cheers to senior love and companionship… please send / share us your thoughts or ideas that worked, and help more people around the world , thank you