Old Alone: How to Befriend Your Aging Neighbor

by - 9/18/2017 11:09:00 PM

In today’s increasingly open society, where taboo-subjects are discussed more frequently and with less effort, it’s a surprising lack of discussions around loneliness. While some young people step up and speak about their struggles with socialization during high school and college, the conversation seems to stop at this point.

If you haven’t made enough friends or kept your old ones by the time you’re middle-aged, it’s almost as if you should just keep quiet about it.

Image credit: Pexels

Needless to say, this mindset will cause more harm than good, leading more middle-aged people and seniors to withdraw from society and settle with being a bit lonely.

Let’s boost the conversation with these helpful tips on how you can encourage your elderly neighbors and relatives to find new friends, making it easier than ever to reach out.

Strike up a conversation

When you’re worried about an older relative who lives alone, you’re probably used to having a chat with them once in awhile. You may have a neighbor, however, who you might worry about being lonely or isolated as they live on their own - striking up a conversation is the first and best step to take.

Speak clearly, depending on their age, without shouting, pause between sentences and questions to give them a bit of time, and keep a cheerful tone. For all you know, it might be the first proper chat they have today.

Offering to help them out with household tasks is also a great way to show that you care and that you’re around whenever they need you. Bring a bit of food over as well once in awhile and enjoy a meal together; for many older adults who lost their spouse, dinner-time can be the loneliest time. Read more on forbes.com about the dangers of loneliness and old age, by the way.

Give them the tools

No matter who you’d like to help out, the Internet is a wonderful thing. Although the usage seems to decline after hitting seventy-five, most seniors are able to navigate the web and use simple pages. It can be used for so much, though, and as a helpful and friendly person, you can spend some time on teaching them how to take full advantage of it.

Social media, for example, is a great way to meet other people with similar interests who would like nothing better than a good conversation now and then. There are more lonely elderly out there than your neighbor; by meeting and befriending each other, they may both enjoy many more years of health and happiness.

It makes sense that we’d like to continue living at home even when we’re old. The sense of control, independence, and familiarity is something a care home simply can’t beat, but remember that you can take some of your worries away by looking into an emergency response such as medicalert.systems in case something should happen when nobody’s around.

While it has become a lot easier to be old in today’s society, the rise of technology may have set us further apart. It doesn’t have to be like this, though, and by identifying isolation and reaching out to others, we’ll be able to enjoy our golden years in a good company and with many friends within easy reach.

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