The holidays are a time for family and friends to come together to share special memories. For those alone during this time of the year it can be a difficult time to overcome loneliness.
The Difference Between Men and Women in Loneliness
There are simple ways to reach out and make a lonely person’s holiday a little brighter. It’s a fact that the older people get the more likely they are to be alone. The longer people live the more they outlive their friends.
Many of the people needing company tend to be men, as they deal with a situation like the loss of a spouse in a different way than women. Often woman in a relationship are the social coordinators, so women do better than men in terms of being able to reach out and find someone to fill the need.
Men Need More Help For Social Connections
It’s often the case that men need to be encouraged to reach out and make new connections. They tend to isolate themselves and cling to their family, who are often working full-time and very, very busy.
Senior men are often unprepared to deal with the boredom and isolation of post-retirement life. Senior men grew up in a society in which men were often the breadwinners. For many, going to work every day provided a built-in social network and sense of purpose. After retiring, many senior men find themselves feeling idle and unfulfilled, unless they make an effort to find new productive things to do with their time. Over time, these feelings of boredom and isolation turn into full-blown chronic loneliness.
Regardless of gender, it’s important to keep your eyes open for anyone in your community who may be alone and suffering in silence. It’s really important to be proactive and to look around us and to see if there’s a neighbor or a friend of a friend who is alone and needs someone to reach out to them to tell them about some of the resources that are available to them and to just spend a few minutes of quality time.
Options to Prevent Loneliness for Senior Men
Preventing loneliness in seniors starts with recognizing the signs of chronic loneliness. If you recognize any of the following signs in your client or loved one, they may need help.
- Mobility problems
- Spending more and more time at home
- Complaining about sleep problems
- No longer talking about friends or social acquaintances
- Changes in appetite
- Listlessness or sadness
If you suspect your client or loved one is lonely, it’s important to address the problem tactfully. It will not help to make the person feel like something is wrong with them for not having many friends or struggling to socialize. Some people will become defensive if questioned about their loneliness.
Rather, take a more roundabout strategy. Ask your client or loved one to go places with you, such as taking them out to lunch, going for a stroll around a market, or reconnecting with nature at a park together. Simply encouraging a lonely person to get out of the house more often can make a positive impact on their well-being.
It’s also important to encourage lonely senior men to get involved in regular community activities. Volunteering is one great way to do this. Taking classes at a senior center or community college is another good option. Meeting with the same people over a long period of time gives senior men the opportunity to build new friendships and connections.
Entrust of DeSoto: A Resident-centric Memory Care Community in Dallas, Texas
Entrust of DeSoto is a memory care community that puts resident well-being at the center of everything we do. We know that each person is unique. That’s why we offer a wide range of services and lifestyle options to nourish the body and create community.
We understand the importance of home cooked meals and nutrition for seniors and this attitude is reflected in our dining experience. If you or a loved one live near Dallas, Texas and need assisted living, contact Entrust of DeSoto today to learn about our 24-hour care and find out how we can help.