Fighting The Loneliness Pandemic By Connecting Young People with Residents In Senior Homes
COVID-19 only made worse what was already an upsetting level of loneliness among seniors – a “loneliness pandemic” in itself. Numerous studies have shown how loneliness can negatively impact all of our lives, and seniors are at higher risk of suffering from loneliness, perhaps tending to be more isolated from their friends or their family. During COVID, this was only made worse by the fact that most visits to senior homes and opportunities for seniors to go out and connect with the local community were stopped. In this article, we explore some ways that young people can connect with seniors in communities.
Visiting a senior home
Consider visiting your senior home, most will be happy to pair you up with senior or multiple seniors, even if you have never met them before. This is a great opportunity to meet new people, help tackle senior loneliness, and make yourself happier too. Seniors are a great source of wisdom and often have interesting and exciting stories to tell. Many also like to take part in games such as card or board games, or just chat over a meal. In addition, if you’re looking to gain some volunteer hours, this can be a great way to do that while doing something good for your community.
Consider special schemes
The Vineyards Residence, situated in Kelowna, BC, recently offered students a discounted dorm room in their residence in exchange for volunteering hours and socializing with the residents. General Manager Todd Mallen stated that the “volunteer hours they spend, engaging in conversational visits social activities, and helping with new technologies, decreases loneliness and isolation among residents.” We hope that more senior homes consider setting up schemes like this, especially if they have spare rooms. If you are interested in something like this, it may be worth reaching out to your local senior home/the senior home where you are going to school to see if they would consider an arrangement such as this.
Help keep family stories and history alive
Discussing memories with grandparents or seniors can bring a lot of knowledge to young people. There is a lot you can learn from elders and that is not something young people should miss out on. It can offer a new perspective on life, and teach young people to understand and later accept their own aging.
Stay in touch with your friends and family
At Continyou Care, we don’t want to see any seniors lonely. If you have family members that you have not contacted recently, why not pick up the phone today or make the journey to go and have a cup of tea with them. Sometimes, people will not admit to feeling lonely, but that does not necessarily mean they are not feeling lonely. Do what you can to help, and together we can fight this loneliness pandemic.