We all hate the idea of the elderly being lonely. But it’s an unfortunate fact that many are. Social care is a hugely important issue and people are living longer lives than ever before. Research shows that illnesses like dementia are more likely when a person lives alone and isn’t regularly communicating with others.
Whether you have elderly relatives or not, it’s everyone’s responsibility to look after the older population. We’ll want people to do the same for us later in life. With elderly loneliness becoming a greater issue than ever before, how can you help?
Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding way to help an elderly person, and there are plenty of ways to do so. Many charities have schemes where you sign up and visit an older person once a week. You could also volunteer in a nursing home, providing entertainment or classes. Volunteering to help elderly people isn’t just a great way to provide company and prevent loneliness; being present means that you’ll keep eye on them and be aware of any health problems appearing, such as sudden weight loss or bed sores.
Modern society can feel overwhelming for the elderly. The world is becoming cashless, young people are fixed to their screens and old-fashioned opinions are being questioned. It’s no wonder they feel isolated and lonely. But what can you do? Educating older people and showing them how to use phones, laptops and the internet can hugely help in keeping them connected. Being able to send a text message to your gran or play an online game is a great help. People have divided views on the internet, but it certainly helps to make people feel more connected.
Many elderly people feel lonely simply because they can’t get out and about like they once could. They are confined to their homes, unable to socialize with friends or neighbors. Many are also unable to drive due to bad eyesight or mobility problems. So, help an elderly person to feel less lonely by offering to drive them somewhere, carrying their bags when they go out or pushing their wheelchair. Giving someone the freedom to go outdoors is a huge help.
If you’re worried about an elderly relative being lonely, a little conversation goes a long way. Simply popping in for a cup of tea after work or giving them a quick call will brighten their day and make them feel less lonely. We all want to know that someone cares about us, and showing your face makes that clear.
So, do your bit. Help your elderly neighbor, call your gran or volunteer in a care home. It’s the least you can do.