Most of us are fortunate enough to be surrounded by family, friends or companions throughout our lifetime. However not all of us have that all important somebody to talk to or share their concerns with. Being left alone or feeling isolated and lonely can have devastating effects to your general well being, both mentally and emotionally. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to combat loneliness for the elderly.
Wellbeing and Being Well
We all are responsible for our own general welfare. However sometimes there can be factors which can have a knock-on effect.
Things that could impact our well being could be as simple as lack of sleep, stress or even inactivity caused by loneliness. These could all contribute to a lower than normal emotional or mental wellbeing.
Being aware of your wellbeing status is key to making sure you are taking the right steps to improve yourself. In doing so, you’ll be able to address any problems. You should notice a better you, even if you stick with just one of these. However for maximum effect, if you are able to make adjustments for all of these you should see an almost immediate change.
Be kind: Doing something nice for a friend, family member or even a complete stranger.
Become more active: Improve your energy and mood levels by taking part in any form of exercise. Walking counts as exercise so don’t discount its health benefits.
Learn something new: Broaden your knowledge, whilst improving your confidence and most importantly having fun in the process.
Build bridges: Enhance connections with people around you, whether they are friends or not. Whilst stepping outside of your comfort zone is daunting, it can potentially be rewarding, so don’t knock it before you’ve tried it!
On top of this, there are things that you can do to put yourself in the best possible position to combat loneliness. Here are just a few things to consider:
Join a social club: This is a perfect opportunity to meet and make new friends, and maybe even meet someone special!
Volunteer: Give something back to a good cause, and meet like-minded people in the process
Get yourself a pet: A pet is the perfect companion for anybody who is feeling lonely.
Sign up to a befriending service: Nowadays there are more services that offer companionship for those who are feeling lonely. These can be official care providers, or just volunteers who call up and have a chat every week.
Go on holiday: This may be subject to your financial situation, but there are many holidays catering to the elderly. International coach trips are a great way of seeing some sights and making friends, along with cruises.
“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day”. – Dalai Lama
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 5th October 2021 to reflect current information.