Loneliness has a significant effect on health. Compared with older people who maintain a vast network of social relationships, those who are isolated would have a higher risk of premature death. Talking, touching and interacting with others is essential to well-being. We must never allow others to reduce their need.
Good tips for keeping friends
Here are some tips for older parents, so they do not end up isolated from their circle of relationships.
No “It was better before”! It is normal to be attached to the periods of one’s life where one has built oneself. We all have a golden age that makes us nostalgic. It is better to remember with affection and remain open to the world and its evolutions. Today will be the beautiful time of tomorrow!
Their opinion is not only one interesting! It is essential to listen to the views of your friends, to be interested in their moods, to be curious about their lives. It’s more captivating than rehearsing your own stories.
Repeating is tiring! It’s better to happen the same anecdotes again and again. They may be interesting; it’s a safe bet that everyone around them already knows. Advise them to wait for someone to talk about this issue, or to find other stories in the literature, news, newspapers, their relationships, and so on.
How to help older parents expand their social circle?
If your elderly parents spontaneously tend to isolate themselves, invite them to make an effort and search for the company. Here are some tips to help them fight this lousy trend.
Encourage them to volunteer. Associations are a great way to meet people. Participating in their activities is a way of doing good and doing well for others.
Push them out. Advise them to go to places where they can meet people who have the same passions as them: exhibitions, flea markets, booksellers, village festivals, musical entertainment, etc.
Make sure they accept the invitations. Social events are always an excellent opportunity to meet people: parties, weddings, birthdays, picnics, etc.
Push them to engage the conversation. At a social or family gathering, make sure they make an effort to talk to new people and focus their attention on their interlocutor’s interests.
Watch their phone bill. Make sure they have a subscription that allows them to call countless and monitor their phone usage to make sure they do not remain isolated.
Let them discover the internet. The Internet makes it possible to get acquainted all over the world and to maintain a new kind of correspondence. For those who go to bed very late or get up very early, correspondents living in other time zones can keep company.
Invite them to meet younger people. Nothing is more stimulating than being confronted with the views of the youngest. They will expose your parents to the ideas of their generation, and they will offer them the richness of their experience.
But without forgetting the people of their age! The people of your parents’ generation share their story. They experienced the same changes in society, the same political events. It is important that your parents retain witnesses of the times that built the individuals they have become. It is essential for them to feel connected to the world as it is today.