Loneliness is a worldwide problem. An increasingly digital and technology-focused world may be a sign of great human progress but it has come with an unexpected side effect, more people than ever are lonely. Once common everyday interactions like popping into the bank to pay a bill, doing grocery shopping and even connecting with family can all be done online. Meaning that it’s easy for many of us to go days or even weeks without human contact.
The loneliness problem is most pressing for older people. Around 2.2 million people over 75 in the UK now live alone. Often outliving their spouses and with increasingly dispersed family and friends, it’s all too easy for loneliness to sneak up on older single people. And loneliness is not only an emotional concern, it can impact mental and physical health too. A 2010 study looking at a large sample size over some 7.5 years found that those who were lonely were 50% more likely to die than those with strong social ties. That’s a sobering statistic.
But loneliness can be tackled. Here are a few ways you can beat loneliness, online and offline.
Join a Community Group
Getting involved in the local community can be incredibly rewarding and give you the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. It could be volunteering at a charity shop or joining a special interest group. Give it a try – it could revitalise your social life.
Try Online Dating
The trick to using online tools successfully is using them as a means to increase social interaction not avoid it. Many single, lonely people over 70 are now turning to online dating as a means to make new connections and explore romantic relationships. A specialist site for older daters like Over70DatingSite.co.uk can help you to connect with like-minded singles close to you. It’s much less daunting than you think and once you have jumped into online dating you won’t look back.
Reach Out to Family and Friends
Often when our family and friends are living their own busy lives they can overlook our loneliness. Sometimes reaching out and explain how you feel can help to make positive change happen. Scheduling a regular coffee meet up with a friend or a monthly Sunday lunch with family can help to tackle loneliness and create social hot spots in your calendar.
Get a Pet
A pet can not only provide an immediate form of interaction that can stave off loneliness, it also often provides opportunities for greater human contact. Walking your dog through the park every day will inevitably lead to interactions with other dog owners and may help to develop a social network that you never anticipated. Just ensure that you have the level of time and energy that the pet you choose requires.
Is loneliness an issue for you? Are you looking to uncover new connections or maybe a romantic relationship? Sign up to Over 70 Dating today and start reaching out to singles in your area.