The most widespread and serious problem that preoccupies the elderly today is that a large number of them suffer from a Feeling of loneliness for one reason or another. Many studies conclude that loneliness is not necessarily part of the aging process; but a growing body of evidence suggests that the tendency to be lonely increases with age. There are many factors like loss of esteem, decrease in quality social relationships, declining health, increasing financial insecurity, among others. The loss of the partner and the fear of death are the other two reasons that make the problem worse.
If not taken care of at the initial stage, it can lead to severe clinical depression and related mental health issues.
Governments and the social structure can only create an enabling environment for this issue to be taken care of at an external level: such as creating more geriatric services in hospitals or trained counselors or elderly communities.
However, this will not necessarily solve the problem, as seniors suffering from loneliness syndrome refuse to accept as such and refuse to open up or join communities. The solution therefore depends to a large extent on how the elderly take care of their own destiny.
Some tips to avoid falling into the trap of loneliness:
The first symptoms should be detected. These include not feeling good about anything, not wanting to do anything, and trying to be away from friends and relatives; the day seems too long. This is the time when the older person needs to wake up to reality and start taking corrective action. The goal is to make life interesting and happy.
Here are some tips in this regard:
1. Make a Daily planner as to how the time should be qualitatively spent excluding sleep and other routine activities. The diary should be comprehensive and divide the time between serious work and fun time. Serious work can include reading or singing (if possible), cooking, or developing a new hobby like learning a language or skill like photography, painting or drawing, etc. outside the house, among many others. The total time allotted for the above may be approximately 5-6 hours 3-4 days per week, health permitting. This will facilitate the flow of time.
2. Some time should be spent exercise / meditation and Keep fit. Regular exercise / meditation for about 30-40 minutes a day, say 4-5 days a week, is the key to keeping the body and mind agile.
3. It is always good to be part of a active and engaging community. Spending even 1 to 2 hours a week in a group of like-minded people will make you feel comfortable and eliminate a lot of the worries associated with loneliness. Join a walking club or laughter club can also be experienced.