Alone and Lonely are Not the Same
Some people enjoy spending time alone, but that is very different from feeling lonely. Loneliness and feelings of isolation go hand in hand and often lead to depression and other problems. Health risks stemming from depression can be just as serious as high blood pressure, obesity, or smoking. The good news is that this is a health issue that can be resolved.
Human beings are social animals who spend most of their lives surrounded by other people. A typical social circle includes family, relatives, neighbors, school pals, church groups and co-workers. Although some of the relationships become more meaningful than others, they all contribute to that needed component of socialization.
When people age, several factors can change their social connections and habits. Their social circle naturally dwindles as friends and family pass away. A loss of driving privileges limits the possibility of independent outings. Hearing difficulties make conversation difficult for both the speaker and the listener. Loss of strength and other health issues make mobility harder and harder. While all these factors can contribute to the feelings of loneliness and isolation, one of the prime factors is a move to a nursing home or assisted living facility. Friends and family often lose touch and neglect to go for regular visits.
There are many explanations for why an elderly resident in a facility does not get many visits. Sometimes, loved ones have a difficult time accepting the move on an emotional level or the facility might simply be too far away to be convenient. But the resident needs to have social visits to ward off the feelings of loneliness and isolation. The social interaction provides a feeling of self-worth for the resident. Even a short visit is invaluable in the life of a lonely senior.
OurSeniors.org was established to help provide the important social visits for residents of facilities who otherwise receive little or no social calls. Volunteer or donate to help correct this problem that can so easily be resolved.