When we are young turning 35 seems old; and when we are 35 being 65 is old. Now you are past your 60s, and old age is split into how you feel mentally (still like a spring-chicken) and how you feel physically (a lot more aches and pains than you’d like to mention). Cliché’s like “age is just a state of mind” start creeping in to every day discussion. In general seniors are living longer than their parents’ generation, and now you are included into one of two relatively new categories – young-old if you are under 80, and old-old if you are 80 and beyond. You can get tablets for so many more ailments now, and you can have operations to replace many parts of your body.
And yet, despite all these advances in science, our empathy is with you. We recognise that in addition to physical change you might be experiencing an emotional roller-coaster. So much has changed in society from when you were young, and the reality is that becoming old seems to be difficult for you and your peers.
You might be one of seniors that probably can’t help thinking of the past without sadness. Whether you are aware of how many of your traditions have become lost, seen now as irrelevant to the lives of your mokopuna or grandchildren; or reliving some moments with a loved one who has died; today might be another day when the tears just won’t stop!
While you know you ought to be grateful for everything you still have in your life…. you just wish for the days when you had your family around you… you miss “everyone”…. there’s no-one to tell your stories to… today you feel even more lonely than yesterday.
So if you are one of the many seniors who feels lonely, or you know of someone who feels loneliness from being elderly, then read on. In fact even if you suspect others might be lonely, and they stoically say they aren’t, it’s worth understanding loneliness and the challenges for seniors better.
Just as you might find it hard to understand how young people who have their health and mobility might be lonely, it’s also hard for them to really grasp how very lonely you might be: what it’s like:
If you are a senior and feeling lonely, you are not alone. Many seniors feel lonely, without the support of family (who may have moved away) and friends (who may have passed away or are not sufficiently mobile to visit).
Prolonged loneliness is a serious issue especially for those of you 75+ years of age as you become socially isolated. Prolonged loneliness is more common in females, as their partners pass away.
If you are a senior feeling lonely, then we empathise with you.
These are very real issues for you;
and some are not quick fixes! So despite these challenges it’s vital you actively find ways to ensure that you – and those around you – are emotionally healthy.
What we are considering is the type of loneliness which is prolonged and might be damaging to an individual’s health and wellbeing.
Research has shown that when socially isolated people aren’t getting enough regular human contact that can create problems with their family members and people who they do end up talking to.
This manifests behaviour such as:
These are just the surface of the ways you might be showing signs of being lonely… and that you could recognise in others.
So where to from here?
you all have a unique story.
How long you have been lonely; What you believe causes your particular loneliness; and what you have already tried to alleviate the loneliness.
To get to the heart of your loneliness we would like to get to know you!
Your personality, your eccentricities, and your values are all part of what makes you feel your loneliness more than some others.
Your next step
We appreciate the trust you would place in us to talk openly and frankly – so we promise no judgements – genuine empathy, respect and confidentiality.
Then when we have understood you better, we can help you move forward. Help you form better connections with your spread out communities, with your friends and your families…wherever they are in the world.
If you are ready to take the next step, click the button to get started addressing your loneliness via mentoring:
Alternatively, you may seek practical advice, information on home visits, and social group activities from Age Concern via their website or their freephone 0800 65 2 105.
People feel lonely for many reasons. To learn more about other life stage and lonely categories, select one of the coloured boxes below, or scroll down the “I’m feeling lonely” menu.
With our help you can conquer your loneliness by taking better care of your inner self.
And we can conquer loneliness in New Zealand by better understanding and accepting each other.
So when you are ready…click here.
We look forward to hearing your view of the world!