I recently read an article about an elderly man who was found in his apartment, two months after he had passed away. It was a sombre reminder of the need to keep in touch with our elderly family and friends.
After reading the comments from others on this article, it saddens me to think of someone having no family, friends or significant other by their side through life and death. I know that many people choose to live very private lives and I shouldn’t be quick to think this person was in any way depressed or lived a lonely existence. However, I know that there are many elderly that do suffer with loneliness. Chief executive of elderly care organisation Age Care, Ann Martin, says that over 400,000 elderly suffer from social isolation. Those are staggering figures and with today’s societies’ fast paced lifestyle and emphasis on privacy and individual, rather than community issues, it is no wonder our elderly are suffering quietly alone.
So what can we do to change this sad sad trend? One idea. Pick up the phone! Ring your elderly loved one and ask how they are-visit them-reassure them that they have an important place in your busy life. Get to know your neighbours! It’s hard when you have your own life, family, job to go to everyday but I know, a simple phone call or visit every now and then can be the highlight to those who’s days can be very long and lonesome.
Let’s look after our elderly. After all, they won’t be here forever.