Living alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely. A study of 3,000 Americans from age 57 to 85 showed that those who lived alone were more likely to socialize with friends and neighbors than those who were married.
We all need social interactions and others on whom we can depend, but we can have that whether we live with other people or among other people. Living with another person is no guarantee of happiness or a full life.
As we age, we can live alone while also building strong social connections. Many people who live alone find satisfaction in their personal freedom and self-sufficiency. But even if we are challenged by health issues and have to give up some independence, we can still maintain friendships and social ties.
Living alone or not, here are tips for enjoying senior living in the company of others
- Embrace social media. Social media is easy to use and helps countless older adults stay connected with loved ones.
- Explore transportation options. Contact your area agency on aging for resources or accept offers of “taxi service” from friends and family.
- Join a support group or hobby group. Being with others who share life experiences and interests provides comfort and companionship.
- Consider a move to a local retirement home community. Living among others provides convenient socialization and neighborly assistance if needed.
Adjusting to living alone, either at home or at an active retirement home
Understandably, losing a spouse can be a difficult experience following many years of sustained companionship, and we all respond to grief differently. Where some seniors struggle with seeing through the cloud of grief, others adjust and view brighter days ahead. Rather than foreseeing each day as a long stretch of boredom and loneliness, they discover newfound pleasures like sleeping in, getting together with friends and accomplishing daily tasks on their own.
One of our residents, a regular contributor to our blog, has written of her experience after losing her husband of 52 years in the blog post, “Starting over: The ups and downs of being widowed.” Judy Wolfman tells of how she eventually “picked herself up” and “started all over again.”
Paula Harer, writer of the blog called “Starting Over at 60,” had a different experience—getting divorced after 30 years of marriage. She recalls the time when she realized the pattern of her days had changed. “It was as if I had been given a couple of free hours. I enjoyed the extra time. But, when I moved out of my family home into an apartment by myself, it was unsettling. No one was ever waiting for me to come home. And no one was coming in the door unless I walked out and came back in!”
She found that making plans was the key to offsetting loneliness and finding pleasure in her single senior lifestyle. Making lists of tasks and accomplishing them gave her a sense of pride. Planning get-togethers with friends met her ongoing need for friendship and fun.
Retirement homes counter loneliness with new friendships and activities
For many seniors, planning eventually leads to a decision to move to a retirement home. A community lifestyle, like that offered by Country Meadows, provides easy access to the company of like-minded seniors. Plus, activities available at active senior living communities provide a positive environment, fellowship with others and a personal sense of accomplishment. Read our article about the benefits of socialization at a retirement community.
If you’re interested in moving to an affordable retirement home in Pennsylvania or Maryland, contact us or schedule a visit, and we will acquaint you with our vast array of services. Country Meadows has 10 retirement homes in Pennsylvania as well as a Frederick, Maryland retirement home. No matter the location, you will find residents with full lives in a family-oriented, caring environment.