A gentleman in the UK has decided to combat his loneliness since the passing of his partner and family members.
Mr. Derek Taylor, 90, stated that as you get older, the less contact you have with those around you. He decided to do something about his loneliness by reaching out into his community, starting coffee clubs and connecting with neighbors. Click the here to view a short clip from BBC News about Derek's story.
An article written by Lynn Ponton for Psych Central's website, titled Coping with Loneliness: Tips for Seniors, mentions a variety of ways that seniors can do to overcome loneliness.
Make new friends. This may be easier said than done, but making an effort to meet new people will help bring more social stimulation into one's life. New acquaintance may form into a strong friendship that can provide emotional and mental support. Visit senior centers, a community recreation center,
or local health seminars, to name a few locations to start meeting new people. Ponton's tip: When you see the opportunity to introduce yourself, do so!!
Volunteer. Put your talents to use! Volunteer at a local nursing home, daycare, hospital...the possibilities are endless! This will also be a great opportunity to meet new people.
Find a new hobby, or revisit an old one. What brings you joy? Is there something you would like to try? Hobbies can help with goal setting, and focus. Write a list of things you like to do, and go from there. Maybe you enjoy gardening (adapt this hobby to table and pot gardening if you have trouble bending down to the ground), writing, reading (look at audio and large print options if eyesight is an issue), needlepoint, knitting, model trains and cars, arts and crafts, adult coloring books, puzzles--table and book.
Visit an animal shelter.
Maybe you are not in the spot to adopt a pet, but you can still go visit the dogs and cats at the shelter. Many have outdoor (even indoor) play areas where you could select a calm dog to walk around. You also may be able to help staff members fold clean linens, or organize paperwork.
Reminisce. Look back at your old photo albums!! Recall the names of those in the photos, what was happening? Reminiscing can enhance emotional health. Even better, gather around your family to share the stories.
Homebound? Even if you are homebound, there are still many local resources that can assist in transportation to and from grocery stores, local events, or even one on one visits for socialization and assistance with minor household tasks.
Ponton also makes a note about those who feel lonely and the risk for depression. If you know a loved one, or if you yourself, feel lonely and feel depressed, please reach out to your local healthcare provider for assistance.