Loneliness can affect anyone. And it’s especially prevalent in seniors. This is because “age brings many difficult changes that contribute to a solitary life.” As friends, significant others, and family members begin to move or pass way, older adults find their social circles shrinking. And while we live in an age where communication is as easy as a few clicks, research shows that seniors are lonelier than ever. Consider following these ways to combat loneliness this holiday season.
1. Prioritize Communication
Older adults often go days at a time without speaking to anyone at all. Those in poor health or with limited mobility options or transportation options can go longer. In-person visits can be difficult to schedule with all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, so a phone call or video chat via Skype or FaceTime will suffice and make a huge difference. Reach out on or before the holiday in order to let your family know you’re thinking of them. If you can’t be with them, a call is the next best thing. With New Years around the corner, you could also keep the communication going by setting your resolution to have a 15-30 minute call each week.
The holiday season is the season of giving. And that includes gifts and time! Consider taking part in one of the many charitable events and causes during this time. Look up non-profit organizations in your area and find out if they need help. Helping the less fortunate can give you a renewed sense of purpose and as such, make you feel less lonely. Above all, participating in a charitable event will make you feel fulfilled, happy, and of course, provide a new perspective.
3. Focus On What You Have
One of the best things to do during this season is to be thankful for what you do have. Often, the thing that keeps us down or lonely is thinking about all of the things we want, so a shift in point of view can help tremendously. You’re alive, you have a home, a family, perhaps, a sweet pet… sometimes, making a list and taking stock of all of the things that you’re grateful for can help change the narrative of what you perceive.
4. Seek Therapy
If the former ways to combat loneliness this holiday season don’t do the trick, it might be time to seek professional help. If you recognize this loneliness in yourself or in a loved one, consider taking a screening with Mental Health America in order to determine the next best course of action! Mental health is a serious concern and should be treated with a certain amount of care and professionalism. Loneliness can have detrimental effects on your physical help if left too long. Seek help. And for transportation services back and forth this holiday season, medical or recreational, contact Abba Medical Transportation. Happy Holidays!