Social Isolation and Loneliness are major health risks. They are not as same as medical health risks but psychological and emotional ones. No one can rate it on a bio meter of how much lonely they feel. Not all care and support that the elderly requires is burdensome or tangible. Most of what they require is unspoken. Out of fear of guilt, shame of burdening someone or for lack of awareness, they will not even ask you why they need you when they need you. Especially, in places like UK where befriending programs have to be arranged, in countries like India, Otla committee or the community gathering is something that still exists, even if it is in the form of high end club meets at cafe. Elders everywhere are lonely, disengaging or neglected. It is a global issue.
Asking why it is important to socialize at this age is something everyone asks. If that is the question, then, it is important to know that loneliness, loss and depression are just one part of the explanation but the major reason is for longevity and life. Creating a close confidante group to share worries, shaming factors and even happy memories as life stories is quite important. Letting it out of the system is what it calls for. And old age leaves you with fewer opportunities to do so. You are least wanted.
A large intervention and expensive engagement in combating with these issues, is not what they look forward to you. Socializing is difficult, because intimacy is something that is a rare commodity for them. All they need is a gathering, a sharing and someone who can enthusiastically volunteer and be with them. Their energies are boosted by people’s presence. Sometimes one need not talk or chat; only the silent, giving presence is enough. Making them feel wanted and needed is something which is important. What are the other ways to engage them are here penned by Papaya Care Assisted Living: