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Elderly people and the fight against loneliness 

August 29, 2023, 8:50 am

For young people and older adults, most tend to have an active social life, even if it revolves around their parents, other family members, or a wide group of close friends.

One of the most sobering statistics is that, out of the approximate 13.8 million older people who live alone, according to the Department of Health & Human Services, twenty-eight percent have been diagnosed with depression due to isolation. 

It is, therefore, up to everyone, professionals and the general public, teenagers and older adults, to all take care of the older adults in the family in the neighborhood and treat strangers with respect and compassion. 

Volunteer at a Nursing Home 

First and foremost, if you have a spare few hours of a weekend, or indeed work from home and work to a more flexible schedule than if you were in a traditional office setting, you could consider volunteering your time. 

There are a wide range of organizations specifically designed to support, help, and provide companionship for older people; you could even join a ‘friend’ scheme. Joining such a scheme will mean you will visit the same elderly resident of a nursing or care home two or more times a week and build a strong friendship and bond. 

Offer to Help with Household Chores 

If you happen to live next door to an elderly neighbor who either lives alone or takes care of their husband or wife and always seems stressed and maybe not even managing, then offer to do their weekly grocery shop.

Alternatively, if indeed their weekly shopping trip is actually the highlight of their week as they get to talk to people and get out of the confines of their house, then you could instead suggest helping with the cleaning or even vow to take out the trash for them every day the garbage truck is due.  

Cook Meals as a Treat

Along with loneliness and isolation, another serious problem with older adults and the elderly relates to how well they are eating and whether they are motivated to cook and prepare fresh and healthy meals every day.

Taking the time to cook your neighbor an extra portion of whatever delicious evening meal you and your family are sharing and taking it around to them will make a huge difference to their day. 

Furthermore, suppose you know they are living with swallowing issues, such as dysphagia, they may be even less likely to consume enough vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients, so consider buying them a supply of SimplyThick thickening agent to help them further. 

Be Considerate

Finally and, a piece of advice to help combat isolation in older adults that neither takes any time nor money is to start being more considerate to that person crossing the road when you are driving to work.

If you are late for work and waiting in line at the bank if an older person is trying to navigate the new machines, be patient and considerate, not impatient and aggressive. Your actions and behaviors in a split second could have a hugely positive, or indeed negative, impact on someone’s day. 

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