Navigating Social Isolation and Loneliness—the second unique challenge of aging alone
The second article in the series, Solos are Not Alone, There Are Millions of us!
Solo agers, individuals aging without the close support of family, often confront the challenge of social isolation and loneliness. This demographic, growing in numbers, faces unique hurdles in maintaining social connections, which are vital for emotional and mental well-being. However, there are several strategies to combat this issue.
Embracing community engagement
First, embrace community engagement. Participate in a church, synagogue or faith organization, local events, senior centers, clubs, or classes not only fosters new friendships but also keeps solo agers mentally and physically active. Whether it's a book club, a gardening group, or a dance class, these activities provide regular social interaction and a sense of belonging.
Building social connections and close bonds becomes vital for solos to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. Join interest-based organizations for meaningful connections and emotional well-being.
Volunteering offers a dual benefit
Secondly, volunteering offers a dual benefit. It allows solos to connect with others while giving back to the community, creating a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Volunteering can range from helping at local shelters to participating in community projects.
Technology also plays a crucial role. Digital platforms can bridge the gap, especially for those with mobility issues. Video calls, social media, and online forums can keep solo agers connected with friends, interest groups, and support networks.
Smartphone apps like Snugsafe Check-in offers a sense of safety and a feeling that someone has your back and looking out for you. Plus, it encourages users to create a safety check-in circle with nearby neighbors and friends. (Use my affiliate code SOLO10 and receive a 10% discount for the first year subscription service. They offer a free version as well.)
Adopting a Pet
Lastly, adopting a pet can provide companionship and a sense of responsibility. Pets not only offer unconditional love but also encourage routine and outdoor activities, leading to more social interactions. Be sure you can afford the responsibility of one.
By actively pursuing these strategies, solo agers can significantly reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, leading to a more connected and fulfilling life.
If you're living alone and want a simple tool that gives peace of mind, try SnugSafe. I've been using it for four years and found it easy to install and set up. I'm affiliate for Snug so if you subscribe, use the code SOLO10 and get a 10% discount on the monthly fees. I use the free version and find it's all I need right now. Check out SnugSafe here.
Testimonials of Snug users:
"I’m a retired RN who is living alone at the age of 85. Altho I am very active, I still worried about something happening to me. My children also. The children and I are more relaxed knowing someone will be contacted if I don't check in." Great G’ma Gene
"The comfort of knowing that someone would know to worry about me before it was too gruesomely late means I can finally fall asleep at night. I'm so incredibly grateful for this app and its developers. I'm a healthy 38 year old, but I live alone, work from home and for myself, and have a tendency to go days without responding to calls & texts. I'm so flighty in communication that no one would be alarmed if they didn't hear from me for days... which is where my insomniac panic attacks kicked in."
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