Lonely Times, Loneliness in Seniors, Elders, Retirees, Retirement
Seniors, Senior Living and Retirement: We may feel that loneliness lands in our lap through life happenings such as aging, death, or retirement. The continuation of loneliness is a choice.
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Seniors and Senior Living, Retirement
Loneliness or Anti-Loneliness Is a Choice for Seniors and Retirees Building an Anti-Loneliness Network for Seniors and Retired Persons
Senior Living: The first step in building an anti-loneliness, network, then, is to make the choice that we no longer want to be lonely.
Senior Living from CyberParent
We may feel that loneliness lands in our lap through life happenings such as aging, death, or retirement. That is true.
However, the continuation of loneliness is a choice. We can choose to be lonely or we can choose not to be lonely. We can leave loneliness behind when we build our own anti-loneliness network.
The first step in building an anti-loneliness network, then, is to make the choice that we no longer want to be lonely.
After we make that choice, we need to make a commitment to build a support group of friends and relatives we see in a social manner. This will cure the first form of loneliness: social loneliness.
Out of those people will come a best friend or three who will cure the second form of loneliness: emotional loneliness.
Remember: You must always start where you are.
Maybe your spouse just died after a long illness. During that time you were forced to retire from work and rarely saw your friends. You don’t have children or siblings, or if you do, they live in distant areas. That is where you are. And that is where you start.
Once you determine your starting point you can begin your anti-loneliness network.
1. Even if you still drive and are completely mobile, it is easier to build a social network if you schedule most of your activities as close to where you live as possible.
2. That said, there are some friends and relatives, some groups, that are worth traveling to meet.
3. Set goals and write those goals in a place where they are often reviewed. Written goals are successful many more times than mental or verbal ones.
4. After you set goals, think about those goals. Break them into tiny steps. The most important step is the first one, of course, but every step is important as you build your anti-loneliness network.
5. After you have steps, you can construct a timeline. If you have seven steps, for example, that will average three weeks each, you have a timeline of about five months. It won’t be that simple, of course, but it gives you a way to check your progress.
6. When you list your steps, check them off. That gives you a feeling of accomplishment, particularly in the beginning.
Every quarter or so, review your goals. Maybe some steps are working; maybe some are not. Maybe one goal was completely unrealistic and needs to be replaced by another one.
When one goal is accomplished, write another one.
1. A few friends or acquaintances won’t cure loneliness.
2. It takes a lot of acquaintances to find a best friend.
3. At any age, we lose friends by attrition–maybe they move away or no longer share our commonalities. As seniors, though, we lose friends for health reasons and even death, too.
All reasons to keep building a social network for as long as we choose not to be lonely, although it will certainly get easier with time.
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If your spouse died within the last two years, consider taking a grief reduction class from AARP. Look in the phone book for a group in your area.