Aging affects more than just your health. It also slows down the dynamics of your household, often leaving your home practically empty, as your children grow up and start their own families.
Once that happens, it’s not uncommon for your children to only react and come back home when you need medical attention. In the meantime, many elderly people face devastating loneliness, the kind that a person can only experience when they feel completely neglected and forgotten by those that they care for the most. If your family isn’t a part of your daily life anymore, your spouse and the majority of your friends have passed away, if you want your golden years to be more pleasurable and less lonely, here are some ways you can approach the issue.
Stay in Touch with Your Family
Talking to your children and other close relatives, letting them know how much being alone bothers you and how sad it sometimes makes you feel, can perhaps make a significant difference. It’s quite possible that they aren’t fully aware of it. Their probably lead fast-paced lives, busy and fulfilled, which can make them lose track of the fact that your life is the exact opposite of that and that you need them.
Also, if they aren’t doing their best to see and hear from you, you should be the one to make that effort. They may live far from you, making it unpractical and sometimes even impossible to visit regularly, but they all must have phones and other devices, so that you can hear and see them daily or at least a few times of week. That might not be ideal, but it’s still enough for you to know that they care and that you are loved. Plus, that way you can maintain contact with your grandchildren as well, since most young people are accustomed to communicating using technology. In fact, for most of them, this is the preferred means of communication, which is something you should use to your advantage and learn how to use some of the best social apps on your phone or your tablet. Finally, if your health allows it, maybe you can visit them from time to time and spend some time with them.
Consider a Death Doula
While this may be difficult to accept, a huge number of aging people face all sorts of illnesses and conditions that are often terminal. Being aware of what comes next and dealing with the inevitable can be excruciating, especially when you don’t have anybody to rely on.
If you this is what you’re going through and you feel it’s too much for one person to bear, perhaps you could benefit from the support and the kindness of a death doula. Just like doulas help women through birth, they also help people come to terms with and prepare for passing away. Their role is a non-medical one, but rather one of compassion and guidance. They help you and even your family members to deal with fear, grief or pain of what’s coming. They can be your helping hand through such things as decluttering your living space, organizing your will, making burial arrangements, or they can even mediate between you, your doctors, lawyers, friends and family members. They’ll show you as much understanding as you need and, if you wish so, may even provide you with the opportunity to die in the comfort of your home, without being isolated.
Explore Your Surroundings
Living alone and spending too much time inside your living space can make you feel detached and even depressed. However, don’t forget that there’s life outside your home and that there are people just like you, who’d love some company. Plus, it’s likely that there are various events in your local community, aimed at your age group, which you can attend.
Even if there aren’t, you can always take a stroll in the nearby park or even a shopping center. Perhaps there are organized one-day trips to some of the nearby places, so that you can spend a day sightseeing or have a picnic and meet some new people who live in your proximity. In case there are some clubs you’d like to join or stimulating workshops and classes you’d be interested in attending, don’t hesitate to do so. It’s through connection with the world and the people around us that we avoid loneliness and melancholy. Therefore, if there’s a chance for you to spend time with others, take it and enjoy life.
Although growing old isn’t easy, it’s crucial that you don’t give up on yourself. There is so much you could give to this world, but there’s also a lot that you can still gain from it. Remember that as you reach out to those you love and even those you don’t know well yet, so that you ward off the loneliness and isolation that’s putting strain on you and your life.
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