Sara Troy with Saras View of LIfe aired from November 10th-on.
Loneliness is a killer, being alone forgotten ignored or just not seen is killing not only our seniors but our homeless and those in life’s transition. When you have lived your life with someone and now they have gone it leaves an empty space, and they long for interaction on a daily basis.
Even though I am an interactive person I know loneliness and they feeling that on one cares if you live or die. Let us not turn our backs on people because they are down and out or because the are elders, but let us share with our youth the wonders of an elders life and allow an elders to see the future through the eyes of tomorrow’s leaders.
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Take a look at these videos and be the change they need.
What can be done to bridge that gap between being along and reaching out to society ? Here is one marvelous idea that also bridges the gap between youth and their elders.
Let us not forget anyone this Christmas let us not leave anyone alone PLEASE.
For more shows from Sara go to saras-view-on-life
20 FACTS ON SENIORS ISOLATION facts-about-senior-isolation
Here are 7 tips to help you protect your aging parents from some of the risks of loneliness.
1. Maintain frequent contact. Even if you’re used to calling Mom or Dad on a monthly basis or less, it’s time to increase the frequency. If they’ve hit a milestone birthday, lost a spouse or other important person, or can’t drive any longer, they need more contact. You don’t need any special reason. Just make it a regular thing and call often. My husband calls his 90 year old mom, Alice every day. She’s independent and gets out a lot, but she still needs to hear his voice.
2. Visit in person at regular intervals. Not only is it better than a call because you can see what is going on, it is best for the senior to see you, get a hug from you or feel the benefit of your physical presence. If distance and time make this a challenge, consider using Skype(TM), or other video to make contact a visible event. If your aging parent is difficult and this is not enjoyable for you, keep it brief, but make it regular.
3. Check out community resources for elders where your parent lives. Most urban and suburban areas have senior centers with good opportunities to connect and make friends. Entertainment and social games such as bingo are offered. If your aging parent was never a “joiner”, you can at least encourage him or her to give it a try. You can accompany your loved one to an event for seniors, arrange transportation or otherwise facilitate the process. Getting started in making connections with some support may turn a shy and lonely elder into a happier one.
4. Take your aging parent to events she may enjoy. Concerts, theater, community festivals, comedy, and other social activities are best enjoyed with company. If your parent has you to go with him, he may have a chance to do things he could never do alone. Start with things your parent has liked in the past, locate some doing your online research and offer to get tickets and arrange transportation.
5. Ask your aging parent questions about such things as lottery entries and contests. Some elders become quite addicted to entering things like these and can’t tell a legitimate lotto game from a ripoff scheme. If you are available in person, check the mail and the contest entry forms. Look for phony offers of “prizes” or letters saying “you’ve won!”. When there are strings attached, such as having to pay fees to get winnings, it is not legitimate.
6. For distance caregivers, consider hiring a geriatric care manager to check in on your aging parent at regular intervals. You don’t have to have a housebound elder to use a geriatric care manager. These professionals are often nurses or social workers, experienced in matching the elder’s needs to community resources for improved socialization. They can find the activities, work out the logistics and go with the elder in your place if you are far away.
7. Consider teaching your elder to use technology to maintain connections. A computer with a camera is a bridge to anyone in the family. Even an aging parent who has never touched a computer before can learn if willing. Alice learned to use the internet at age 86 to pay her bills. Now, she’s on it every day. If she can’t find something she wants, she uses Google GOOG +0.27%. It has opened a world to her. If you’re not good at teaching, perhaps a kind grandchild will do the job or you can get grandma to attend a first timer’s computer class. From our experience the effort is so worth it