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In a world that boasts of great connectivity, loneliness can be a sad reality. Although technology has shortened distances, it hasn't really been able to burst the grievous bubble of isolation. This is especially true for those who have crossed the age of 60. In fact, social isolation in senior citizens has become a highly prevalent issue which does not receive the amount of attention that it truly deserves.
As far as seniors are concerned, loneliness can manifest in multiple ways. In some, it can cause severe emotional distress which further results in mental health problems. In others, it can trigger serious physical impacts like neurological diseases and immunodeficiency disorders. What's important, however, is that the elderly who feel like they are staring at a dark future are handed a sturdy ray of hope.
Here are a few ways which can help you address the question of senior isolation in an efficient, healthy, and optimistic manner:
Throughout their working life, most people do not find adequate time to pursue their hobbies and interests. Therefore, after professional obligations are formally over, what can be a better way to spend your time than taking up a long-forgotten hobby. Not only would it encourage you to remain active, but it would also give you a certain sense of purpose.
Pets, whether it’s a cat, dog, or any other domestic animal of your choice, it requires constant care. Having them in your house at all times cannot just fulfil your companionship needs but it can also act as a medicinal therapy. Raising pets has largely been known to reduce anxiety, boost memory, and augment a general sense of well-being.
Just because you have retired from active working life does not mean that you have to be socially withdrawn. You can easily use this spare time to volunteer for social activities. They may be as small as wrapping gifts at departmental stores or as big as organising community events. By interacting with people of different age groups, you would always have something to look forward to.
Exercise is indeed the best technique to feel good about yourself. It releases endorphins which go a long way in reducing stress and help in developing immunity against numerous mental and physical illnesses. Moreover, it also enhances your self-esteem by encouraging the creation of a positive body image, thus keeping you fit and agile.
Preventive healthcare forms the very core of healthy societal interactions. A lot of seniors tend to avoid social occasions because they suffer from ailments like hearing issues or incontinence. Isolation becomes their refuge while trying to avoid public embarrassment. This is precisely why visiting doctors frequently and getting yourself treated can prove to be a good method of reducing communal barriers.
For many seniors, art can be a massive stress buster. Be it painting, writing, photographing, or sewing, if you indulge in a variety of art forms, you can reap immense health benefits. Art gives you a platform to express your opinions and relive your experiences, thereby empowering you to process the most complex of emotions and find therapeutic relief.
Familial connections are considered to be the best antidote for loneliness. Therefore, you must prioritise interactions with your family over everything else. If possible, visit them as frequently as you can. Not only would this help strengthen your bond with them, but it would also give you a great opportunity to be around people who genuinely care for you.
With advancing age, the problem of isolation tends to increase. At times it is generated by the lack of mobility, while at other times, it can stem from the inability to forge lasting connections. Irrespective of what the causes of senior isolation are, its consequences can be highly disastrous.
So, if you too are going through such immeasurable struggles, it is time to combat isolation with the tactics mentioned above and brighten up your twilight years with aspiration, excitement, and hope
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