There are many reasons why senior citizens develop feelings of loneliness and depression; from the death of a spouse or companion, to living alone in solitude, to the negative effects of social isolation. We all fantasize about retirement; however, the absence of work often exacerbates feeling of solitude and despair. Remember, although having a career has its inherent challenges and stressors, going to work every day provides a sense of purpose in life, offers daily social interactions with colleagues and clients, and often pushes our boundaries to new limits. If you, or an elderly loved one that you know, is experiencing feelings of loneliness, then perhaps the following ideas might offer an uplifting solution.
Become More Engaged in Social Media
For many seniors, the notion of using modern technology can be overwhelming. Where do I start can lead to not starting at all. The truth is that big-name technology companies are constantly trying figure out ways to make their products simpler and more user friendly than that of their competitors. With ease of use often comes more sales! Perhaps those who benefit the most from this simple and straightforward approach to technology are those hesitant seniors who avoid using modern technology all together.
Social media has changed the world forever. It was only several decades ago that trying to find and reconnect to a long-lost friend took a great deal of research… essentially, sifting through dozens of names in the yellow pages. Now, with the click of the button, you can simply type a name in Facebook, and, more than likely, not only find an old crony but also view their pictures and interests too. The same is true for connecting with children and grandchildren! Senior citizens, especially those suffering from loneliness, should, at the very least, tap in to social networks in order to engage with the outside world. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are just to name a few that we recommend.
Buy a Robotic Pet
Today, over 11 million seniors live alone, constituting over 25% of the population. Many seniors still live at home, while others have transitioned to a senior housing community or retirement home. Certainly, owning a pet can increase companionship and help combat loneliness, but what if owning a pet is too much responsibility? Or, perhaps, the senior living community you chose for your next step in life prohibits pets?
Fortunately there is another option. Hasbro, one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world, has recently released a line of robotic companion pets called Joy For All. Robotic companion pets are a great way for seniors to increase companionship without having the hassle of taking care of a pet. Designed with soft fur and realistic features, these skillful companion pets are an affordable solution to increase companionship and love in the life of a lonely elderly person – starting at $100, with zero maintenance.
Check out YouTube ASAP!
If social media is about social engagement, and a robotic pet about companionship, then YouTube is about interests!
Many seniors might be unfamiliar with YouTube. In short, YouTube is a website where you can find practically any video, about practically any topic. For seniors who may find themselves isolated from the outside world, or perhaps missing the mental stimulation of a career, YouTube allows you to watch videos on all of your favorite subject, and more. Yes, reading the daily newspaper and watching the news will keep you up with modern times. However, tapping into alternative news sources such as Vice or SourceFed, allows seniors to not only be up-to-date, but ahead of the times. Furthermore, retirement often affords seniors the time to take on new hobbies. YouTube is littered with how-to videos on endless subjects, from cooking classes, learning to build the engine of car, guitar lessons, and the list goes on.