Seniors living in our communities are often living in isolation. It is very likely for a person who is no longer in the workforce or caring for others to become lonely or isolated when living alone. The cause of isolation can result from many different circumstances, with COVID19 being a significant contributor over the last few years.
Signs of social isolation and loneliness can include an increase in unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, a decrease in appetite or poor diet and lack of exercise. In addition, confusion, signs of dementia, a sense of hopelessness and a tendency to assume the worst can all be indicators of social isolation.
Although we cannot change a person’s living arrangements, here are a few options that can reduce isolation and loneliness;
Companion Animals – Adding a dog or cat to one’s household can increase social connection. Walking the dog can get you out and about and trigger discussions with others, whilst feeding and caring for your dog can give a sense of purpose.
Volunteering – Although volunteering has been a problem due to the pandemic, now may be the time to pursue an engaging volunteering position. The right position gets you out and about, helping others and quality time with like-minded people. https://www.volunteering.nsw.gov.au/
Connecting via social community groups – Across NSW, local councils and community organisations run activities for seniors. Depending on your location, these activities can include art classes, craft workshops, salsa lessons, line dancing, and much more. You can potentially find an activity that can help you make new friends, keep your mind active by learning new things and even stay fit.