It is extremely important to remember that there are over 2 million older adults, over the age of 75 who live on their own.
‘Imagine living all by yourself with no family or friends nearby and having nobody to talk to’.
‘Imagine living all by yourself whilst in physical discomfort due to chronic pain.’
This time, imagine how it may feel being in your 80’s or older:
- living all by yourself,
- having lost your long term partner and friends,
- having no children to turn to,
- suffering from age related painful conditions,
- whilst living on a very tight budget
How do the above scenarios make you feel?
I certainly know how it makes me feel: ‘scared’, ‘panicky’ and ‘sad’.
It is vitally important that we remind ourselves on a regular basis that these sad scenarios do exist and that the reality can be a lot worse than the image painted above.
I’m positive, that if you take a few moments to think, you will be able to come up with at least one person, who you are aware of, that lives on a daily basis in loneliness.
If so, you can easily make that person’s life a lot more meaningful, by taking just a few minutes out of your own, to knock on their door and just say ‘hello’.
It certainly is a very simple gesture which does not cost a thing, however, due to our hectic schedule’s there are very few people taking time to do so.
I am guilty for doing so myself.
However, I decided to change this, starting on the run up to Christmas. This Christmas, was the first Christmas for a long time that I celebrated it with my whole family and I was reminded of how lucky I am to have such a warm and loving family. However, in contrast, this made me think of all the other people who are not as fortunate. Due to this, I wanted to remind lonely older people that there are people out there who do think of them during these days.
On Christmas Eve whilst visiting family down South, I went to the shops and purchased boxes of chocolates. My intention was to hand them out in neighbourhoods heavily populated by elderly living on their own – so that’s what I did.
I was a bit nervous at first, as I wasn’t sure what impression I would make, knocking on strangers doors during a stormy evening of Christmas Eve. However, I had faith in my positive intentions and I was simultaneously excited to put a smile on people’s faces.
Every single door I knocked on was pleasantly surprised and was left with a smile on their face. I got invited in by many of these lovely people and spent a few moments exchanging conversation with each one of them. As a result, I got a great feeling of satisfaction and felt very happy in myself, so I decided to go and do the same thing on Christmas Day.
Thanks to the above activity, I have an additional intention for 2018.
My New Year’s Resolution for 2018 is to attempt to visit as many lonely older people within my local proximity as I possibly can, on a monthly basis. It makes my heart feel warm and happy, thinking that such a simple act can make someone feel a lot happier. I hope this message can help inspire others to do the same thing within your local community. You don’t need to buy chocolates, just a simple ‘hello’ and ‘how are you’ will be enough to enrich a lonely person’s day.