Many of us experience loneliness as we get older. Retirement, the loss of loved ones and isolation due to mobility issues can all contribute to this by limiting our social encounters and forcing us to spend more time alone. By making extra efforts to be social, it’s possible to combat loneliness. Below are just some of the things you can do as you get older to fight feelings of loneliness.
Pick up the phone
Friends and family are always a phone call away. If you need a conversation, don’t be afraid to call these people. If you haven’t spoken to a person for ages or you’re worried you may catch them at a bad time, you can always send a message first rather than calling them out of the blue. This could allow you to schedule a phone call for a time that suits you both.
Take advantage of the internet
The internet is a great tool for staying connected with friends and family. The likes of Facebook are great for keeping in contact with loved ones – if you’re not on Facebook, consider signing up and creating an account. Social media sites can also be great places for connecting with strangers, allowing you to have conversations and debates on all kinds of topics. There are also many sites and apps for finding friends locally (Silversurfers and Stitch are two sites targeted at over 50s).
Join clubs and get involved in community events
Looking for a way to meet new people? Consider looking into local clubs in your area to join. This could include anything from tai chi to a book club. There may even be social clubs in your area aimed at seniors. Volunteering at community events can also be a great way to meet new people. This could include local festivals, charity events or sports events.
Consider moving to somewhere more social
If you live somewhere fairly isolated, consider whether it’s worth moving somewhere that’s likely to have more social opportunities. This could include moving to a location nearer to friends and family. Alternatively, you could try moving to somewhere more urban if you live somewhere quite rural. To meet people your own age, you could even consider moving to a retirement village or into a retirement home. The likes of these 55+ apartments could allow you to surround yourself with other people of your generation. Such communities may even encourage social interaction by hosting events throughout the week.
Schedule ahead dates in your diary
It’s good to try to plan social events ahead so that you have things to look forward to. Consider keeping a diary and try to always have something booked in the near future whether it’s a day out with friends or inviting relatives over for lunch. Use each social event to plan the next social event – especially with friends or family members who you’re likely to drift apart from.