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I am a 73-year-old woman needing some advice on curing my loneliness. I lost my good friends and have friends but not the same as before. My husband farms and goes to the farm every day and comes home at 6:30 - I try to keep busy but am still terribly lonely. I go do lunch on Fri with friends, joined a Lutheran knitting prayer shawl group, make rosaries and work out M-F but live in a very small town of 4,000 people in Kansas that is slowly dying. Most places I go have very few people and this solitude is getting me down. My husband does not understand. I have 2 children - daughter who lives 2-1/2 hours from here and son whom I help babysit his 8 year-old son from time to time. I have had 4 bladder infections in 5 months but urologist did CT scan and everything is normal but am going to see him tomorrow to see what can be done. I want to go see my daughter but am worried I will have another bladder infection and have to go to a strange dr who wont know my history and it is a lot of trouble to do that so staying near my home. But am just so frustrated the last few days and lonely and feeling sorry for myself - dont know how to have fun or to make my life more enjoyable. Husband enjoys going to farm but I do not like farm - I could go there but would sit in office by myself. Anyway, can anyone suggest something to lift my spirits please? Thanks for your time in listening. I am originally from CA - just have one sibling out there whom I am not very close with - do not want to fly as now I don't want to get on airplane - causes me too much anxiety. Anyway, what does a person like me do in a small town to keep myself happy and satisfied? Lot of people here just are happy doing very little - but not yet for me and dont know what needs to be done to help my out of this depressed cycle. Not familiar with this board so not sure if this is the right forum or not for me but will wait and see if I get an answer. Thank you.

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Well, this isn't a caregiver question, is it? So you may not get responses from persons with a lot of experience with your situation. But the answers you do get will be very well-intended.

I'm glad you are seeing your urologist this week. If you get a clean bill of health, will that reduce your anxiety somewhat?

I also suggest seeing a mental health therapist. Since you are in a small town this may involve some travel, but I'll bet you can find one within a 30 minute drive. Ask your PCP for a referral. I'm not equating loneliness with mental illness! But I think you could use some support in how you deal with your feelings. Depression and anxiety are treatable.

You lost your good friends. That is very sad. Do you mean you lost them when you moved away? Or they died? Do you have friends left in CA? Staying in touch with distant friends has never been easier. I couldn't leave my house often while I was caregiving my husband who had dementia. I sometimes made phone dates with a friend. I'd call at a prearranged time and we'd talk as we would if we had met for lunch. Is this the same as a 4 hour gab fest at McD's? Of course not. But it is better than moping in loneliness. Skype and smart phones make seeing the person we are chatting with possible, too.

The friend in AL whom you used to help a lot? I'll bet she would be thrilled to have you visit. I sure hope she is making new friends there. But that doesn't mean she wants to break all connections to the past. You are thinking, "She doesn't need me now so she doesn't contact me," and she may be thinking, "I guess it is out of sight out of mind. kssfgirl hasn't contacted me. Maybe she is embarrassed about the assisted living place." Make an effort to reestablish that relationship.

I can empathize with you about traveling with a health problem. I have a GI problem and when it flares up I limit how much I leave the house to the things that are really important, and then I take all the precautions I can. Recently it was important to me to go to Peru (!) and also to a relative's graduation. Surely visiting your daughter would fall into the "really important" category. When you visit the doctor tomorrow, ask if he would fax a prescription if you get certain symptoms while you are away. Then relax and go!

Do you go to the senior center? Sometimes small towns have excellent programs. My aunt played the spoons in their kitchen band for years! Sometimes they load up a bus or van and travel to a bigger city to see a play. They typically have folks who play cards together, and often teach new games.
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It's okay! You're an elder and your husband is an elder, and yure taking care of each other! Glad to have you!
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Lots of good ideas here--
Do you have old family pictures or letters that you could compile into an album, or write down all the old family stories that you can remember?
I have heard of hospitals asking for volunteers to hold babies; and not just babies while they are in the hospital. I spent July 4 with my daughter-in-law (my son had to work) and they have just moved into a new house. She said the best help I could be was to hold their 3-month old baby so she could get unpacking done without having to worry about him. (Both my son and grandson are late babies, so it's fun having a new grandson as well as grown-up ones.) If you like babies, you might ask the hospital if there are new moms at home alone with babies that could use a break during the day.
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The first post did post - "I'll try this one more time" or similar, I think it was headed? -I was replying to it but after I clicked on Post Answer I got the "no longer exists" message. No idea what can have happened to it.

Doesn't matter.

K, I was pleased to read that you are getting out and about, if not as much as you would like, in your new town. But when you mention loneliness specifically as the problem, and then say that what you used to enjoy was - essentially - hanging out with your friends, and then you describe how most of them have moved on one way or another. It does sound an awful lot like loss, rather than loneliness - especially seeing as you *have* got out there and broken the ice with new groups. These people were your buddies, you valued them and they you; but time has passed and does what it does.

I don't know that there's anything very helpful one can say about that.

I'm also glad that you're getting your doctors to take the recurrent infection seriously - all too easily dismissed, and it's a pity because for one thing they can get out of control, and anyway even if they don't, even a low grade or grumbling problem can be demoralising and debilitating. So I hope the appointment goes well and your urologist has some constructive ideas. Please do come back and let us know.

You have a 77 year old husband. I think you qualify as an AgingCare forum member!
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Volunteering to help others always makes me feel useful and lift my spirits.
Blessings,
Jamie
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Senior Center is a GREAT suggestion. I am 75 and I don't have enough hours in the day to get everything I want to do, done. I volunteered with CASA for 5 years. When that got to tough, I let it go. After my husband died, my kids begged me to move closer to them. I loved the solitude and felt that if I moved near my kids my solitude would be gone forever, I am one of these people who do not need others around me. That may sound selfish, but I worked as a Realtor for 40 years and I have had my fill of people and phones. I spend a great deal of time studying the Word of God. I watch movies as often as I can. I also go to movies alone. I started painting and visited the Art Center and joined some art classes. What are your hobbies...Try getting into a hobby. One last suggestion: Would your husband be willing to move to a Independent living facility? Believe me, when we had our fire in our home, our Insurance company paid for us to stay in a 2 bedroom apt in a facility. At first, it was fun not having any responsibility, making friends and having some one else do the cooking. But, when our home was done being remodeled, I was ready to go home. It was hard on me making friends only to have them die off. But, most people love the social life and independent living facilities. Your church is a great source of groups and studies. Reading is GREAT. Volunteer at the hospital. There are endless things out there to do. You are much needed in your community. Good luck in keeping yourself busy. Let the housework go or hire someone to help you. Good Luck.
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Hmmmm. There's a couple of things I hear in your post.

First off, I suspect your first post didn't get deleted, I suspect in never posted for some reason. The admins on this site don't monitor posts as they come in. I hear your worry about getting an infection away from home and having to do a ton of papetwork. And I hear that a friend who went to assisted living probably made new friends and doesn't need you anymore.

Maybe your friend wh went to assisted living has had some cognitive losses and can't manage to write. Send her a card or note and ask her to write back.

See the urologist, but also go see your regular doctor and talk about the fact that you're feeling down and how worried/anxious you are.

Are there volunteer opportunities in your town?
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Kss,
I bet your friend that is in Assisted Living misses you terribly! She may be reluctant to ask you to come visit because you did so much for her when her husband passed away. When you get your urinary issues resolved try paying her a visit and see how that goes.

I live in rural Texas about 30 minutes from town. My husband travels for his job. He has been working on a job/jobs in Kansas. I am in charge of the ranch 95% of the time. Small town life has so many advantages but there are drawbacks also. My neighbor spends a lot of time at the Senior Citizens Center in town. She is also in a Bunco group at the hospital they host for Senior Citizens. Have you thought of volunteering with the hospital? In our town the hospital volunteers greet visitors, deliver flowers to patient rooms, even get to work in the nursery with the babies and work in the gift shop.

This is just an idea, but since no one can guarantee you will be seeing a good movie alternate between you and your husband as to who picks the movie! Then as you are leaving the movie someone gets to say "boy, you can pick em"! Don't ask me why I am suggesting that.😉
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Thank you - I am going to lunch at sr center today again - went yesterday too - at least it is nice not eating lunch alone - for $3.25 you can't beat that - I dont go every day but once in a while it is nice to see these seniors. I am a senior too - some people think of the senior center as too old for them - but we have to get over that thought as we are one of them plus they are nice and they do visit - maybe I can write again - hope it is ok as this is a caregiver board - but someone did say it is ok - it is nice to be able to vent with someone.
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Hi - you know I'm having issues with my elderly parents which is why I'm on this message board but I am 54 and am also sad and lonely. Not that this will make you feel better but it may make you feel less alone. To look at me you would never think I was alone or feeling lonely. My point is we are surrounded by people everyday - so maybe go out for coffee or a drink or even a movie alone and you may meet a friend. You can also go to a meet up website and try to find an activity you like where you. An meet up with others. Or start your own group --- or take a class - it actually sounds like you are pretty busy - maybe even go to a therapist and talk about why you feel so lonely and what you would like to do. I am single and have no children - not many friends - you are already doing much better than myself. Maybe if you can afford it, go on a vacation - talk to your doctor beforehand - go with a group tour - try to find happiness within - I like to read a lot and I draw and I watch movies - it seems boring compared to how my life used to be but it does give me pleasure . And finally the greatest thing you can do when you feel this way is to volunteer your time to those who may not be as fortunate as you are . Of course I need to take my own advice but I'm working on it. The world is filled with many people and they say you receive from the universe what you put out . I'm happy to write to you more and see how things are going - good luck I
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