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Combatting the Epidemic of Loneliness in Seniors

29 Comments

I really appreciate this information for it helped me realize how important it is for a person to be taken cared..I'm in my fortys now,yet I find it difficult to understand the old ones in our family.After reading this article,I think I can bravely make the first move to become a part of their lives again..thank you so much,and I am looking forward to have more helpful informations again..

I liked this article. It sort of confirmed what I would do with my mom, things I did that seemed natural. The only thing was that once the dementia took over, it became harder because she wasn't the same mom anymore. I found that I had to try new ways to engage her in something because most of the things she liked to do at one time were no longer things she was interested in, or simply couldn't do anymore. I got through it though, and found a lot of time was going down "memory lane" and looking at old photos - it seemed like the connection she needed and was more comfortable with - her mind was in the past and that's were I visited her. It's nice to see articles like this one so that other people can get ideas and advice on helping their loved ones through what I call a terrible disease that takes so much from peoples lives - caregivers and their families as well as the person that is suffering. Thanks for another wonderful article.

I understand it completely. You do not think about this as you grow up. All of a sudden it hits you and you remember hints older family had given you. No way to change it, you do go inside yourself and live with memories.

A lot to think about, makes sense when you do. Thanks!

It is not always "so easy to combat loneliness in the elderly" as our family has discovered with our 82-year-old mother. Our mom fits the profile of one who pushes others away--that is, everyone but her immediate family. She craves time with us, mostly with the tv blaring in the background (her choice), but isn't at all open to encouragement to make friends at her new independent/assisted living community. Four out of the five of us live out of state. We tried coaxing her to move nearer to her daughters, but she refused. Among the siblings, we girls would have had more time for nurturing than her sons. She was almost totally isolated at her previous home and agreed to move a year after her husband, our dad, passed away. He had been in a nursing home for just under two years. I am thankful for my siblings who have served Mom well and continue to, often at great sacrifice. Prayer, patience and unconditional love are the best tools for children of the elderly, I'm finding. Older folks either adjust eventually to their new lives or flat-out don't. Many factors play a role, and there usually aren't easy answers. Each family and each person is unique; there is no one-size-fits-all formula for success. I place my hope in God who created my mom and who loves her more than I do. Hopefully, she will do the same and find the peace and fulfillment only He can give.

just listen to the elder. my aunt had ingrown toenails hurting her, her eyeglasses sucked and she didnt have a comfortable chair to sit in. weve fixed all that crap -- cause i was listening to her..

I learned a lot. A very important information about seniors and loneliness. But there is a solution and answer to it. I found GeriJoy very helpful, a companion for seniors. They provide companionship and fun and also help connect family members by bringing updates and photos.

This is an interesting article, sharing some good tips. Thanks. But let’s hope not a lot of people have to use it.

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I wholeheartedly agree with below:
"Isolated elders also had a 59 percent greater risk of mental and physical decline than their more social counterparts."
"study, found that solitary seniors have a tendency to further isolate themselves by pushing people away and not making efforts to engage with others."

I experienced this with my mother. She has totally isolated herself and pushed her "friends" and acquantenances away such that they no longer call her or include her in activities. This has led to isolation without any outside engagement -- I fully believe her dementia has escalated over the last several months because of this -- I dub it "social induced dementia". It is a very sad situation. This becomes a vicious cycle; loneliness escalates dementia; dementia causes person to forget or no longer enjoy eating; nutrition declines; weight loss leads to lethargy; leads to further mental and physical decline. Very sad. WIth increased babyboomers heading into "senior years" -- we have to make sure "we/they" can live out the best life possible; have access to quality affordable flexible care; and take action to not burden our children with day to day care responsibilities.