Now I definitely do not want The Love Thy Elder Corner to be the bringer of bad news or bringer of rain, which every cliche you chose. What it should be doing is shedding light on all aspects of seniors lives - either for negative or positive. So with all respects due, when it comes to any issue surrounding our loved elder community, we would like to show resolve through dialogue, research and sharing.
One issue that can’t be ignored by any age group, as surprisingly it affects all age groups is loneliness. Interestingly enough, the CBC up there in Canada has just released a documentary mini-series on this very subject. Find it here.
28% percent of American households consist of one individual.
1 in 5 identifies themselves as lonely.
In this case we will be focusing on our senior (65+) community.
If we all can remember how our thinking was towards your grandparents for just a moment when we were younger, we were busy running around doing arts and crafts, painting in pre- or elementary school…visiting grandparents was completely on the back of your mind. Visiting loved grandparents on the weekends was always a joy and if your grandparents lived with you, they always seemed to have endless energy. Always having so much attention to give. Such excitement to stir.
During the week we had no clue the daily challenges they met. Loneliness being one of the major challenges for our grandparents would be far from our mind.
How could it be?
We love and want to be around them. Loneliness brings its own underlining issues. It can happen even when others are present within one’s life.
For seniors one example is that as they age, many members of their age group will pass on for whatever reasons. This creates a social gap for seniors who are used to socializing with peers of their respected common era - causing a loneliness affect. Which can actual kill.
Loneliness is linked to:
- Heart Disease
This increase in mortality has been said to be the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day!
We all know the underlying, unfortunate outcome of many of the diseases listed above on those who do not identify with the senior community. They can be crippling to say the least.
So how can we combat such a thing?
This seems to be the popular question. Is there one answer to the issue? Certainly not but we can try our best to seek and find one.
Seems like the obvious but increasing visits with our loved elders. Filling in that generational era gap with some warm empathy of their bygone time. Heck, elders always do such a wonderful job of fitting in culturally with the grandchildren don’t they..so why couldn't we fit more in with them more often? Personal errands can be more comfortable to ask when loved ones are around. Banking, Personal Hygiene buys and transport to social destinations previously unreachable if attempted solo are just a few examples of how visiting can drastically change our elders community for the better. Agree?
Many within our senior’s communities unfortunately fall under the category of being physically lonely. Seniors with minimal to no family interaction will usually fall into this situation. Outreach programs are highly beneficial in this regard. Seniors within these programs will usually depend upon the kindness and generosity of volunteer not for profit origination's for and not limited to; social, culinary and medical help/assistance.
We all know technology can enhance aspects of younger generations lives ..I know some would beg to differ - but this means the same can be said for our elders as well.
Wouldn't it be nice for those millennial's to come up with that age-reducing tech, coded up and ready for your retail pleasure. I think I can actually here all those lips a licking.
Issues such as instant surveillance and audio communication can be solved with simple and inexpensive CCTV tech such as the one shown here.
Built for seniors communication devices that showcase features such as larger icons, less screen clutter and simple audio sounds like the device shown here.
Tech in the form of APPS can be used to order almost any form of physical social assistance to be used in whichever form our loved senior desires.
I'm sure we haven't even skimmed the list of things that can be done to remove loneliness and its affects from our loved seniors community. If you have anyways, ideas or methods to combat loneliness for our seniors community, leave a message.
Do you have any concerns for seniors?
If you believe there is a seniors focused topic that should be covered in Love Thy Elder Corner, I would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment and feel free to leave link a if it is regarding the topic.