Loneliness in Later Life
The transition from work to retirement, the death of a loved one, or the diagnosis of an illnesses can all be influencing factors of loneliness in older age. These circumstances can trigger feelings of anxiety, depression, insomnia and mental health problems.
By staying socially active after retirement, you can live a happier, more satisfying life. Here are some tips to promote senior wellness:
- Keeping active
Regular exercise can help boost energy and mood, maintain independence, protect the heart, enhance mobility and help manage weight. Small changes, such as going for a daily walk can make a huge difference. Exercise can also be a social activity, through group fitness classes or walking groups – helping to tackle feelings of isolation or loneliness.
- Taking part in hobbies
Mental and social activity is just as critical as physical activity when it comes to healthy aging. Joining an arts and craft, gardening, music or dance group is a great way to regularly meet up with peers and keep physically and mentally alert.
- Helping others
Volunteering is a great way to socialise as well as give back to the community. It not only enriches the lives of others, it can also improve self-esteem and sense of purpose.
Staying connected with friends and family who live further away through email and video chats can also help combat loneliness. Library and community centres often hold training courses for older people to learn basic computer skills.
Being able to get out and about is a vital way to stay part of the local community and to access local amenities. As well as free local bus travel, there are many community organisations who provide door-to-door transport for older people to help them to maintain their independence.
- Befriending Services
Befriending schemes offer companionship and support through telephone ‘buddy’ schemes or volunteers visiting an older person for a cup of tea and a chat in their home or accompanying them to an activity.
For more information on support services for the elderly, please see the organisations below:
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