Loneliness | Think of Your Parents


Every person on the planet is unique. We all have different wants, needs, hobbies, likes, dislikes, and circumstances in which to navigate, and this uniqueness doesn’t change even when we reach our rather patronizingly titled “Golden Years.” There is one overarching theme that can creep in, however, and that is loneliness. Unfortunately, there are just so many variables that can creep in and trigger this sense of isolation. It may not be depression, but loneliness isn’t fun.

The loss of a spouse. Physical decline. Inability to drive. Worries over sight or hearing or both. Less of a social life and fewer friends to invite on their annual trip to Ibiza or Magaluf. All of these encourage so many elders to back away from life in favor of staying safe within the four walls of their home. Having an inkling that this may be happening to your aging parents isn’t going to fill your belly with a warm fuzzy feeling, but being aware will let you better prepare for it.

Here are our top tips on you can protect your folks from a life of loneliness:

Constant Contact

One of the best things you can do to combat any feeling of loneliness is to stay in regular contact. You don’t need a special reason, you don’t need to have any groundbreaking news to share, you just need to call often and always. Once or twice a month just isn’t enough. Even if your elderly parent has a social life that you’re jealous of, hearing your voice every day will be the highlight. Of course, visiting in person would be even better. Nothing beats a hug. Nothing.

Consider Care

It’s never an easy topic to breach, but discussing care with your parent is definitely worth doing. One thing to keep in mind is the words and approach you use. Instead of saying you think they should, say you met a lady who was raving about Porthaven care homes and show them the website. You could even choose to steer away from the care aspect and concentrate on the setting and the environment, focus on the social aspects and the independence on offer. Admitting you need care is not easy, so maneuver around this by showing how fun it could be.

Tech Lesson

The world has become a much smaller place thanks to the next level connectivity we have out our fingertips and in our pockets. Any device that has a camera can reach those loved ones they want to stay in contact with. So long as they are willing, anyone can learn how to use FaceTime or Skype. It won’t just let them feel closer to you, or let them see how their grandkids are growing up, it could open up a whole new world. That’s what the internet does. As a little word of advice, consider getting a professional in. Patience seems to be in short supply when you try and teach them yourself.

Do More Together

Whatever your mom or dad enjoy doing, do it with them. Get tickets to that theater production you think they may like. See what concerts are going on in your area. If the Tate is doing an exhibition you think will peak their interest, go with it. Comedy gigs, farmers markets, community events, social activities; these are all things they may love to do but maybe wouldn’t get the chance to alone. Eradicating that feeling of lonely hopelessness is best done with creating memories through shared experiences.

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