Today it’s widely understood that loneliness is more than a feeling of sadness. Social isolation, especially among seniors, can lead to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, depression, anxiety and even early death. During this holiday season, we challenge you to connect with someone who may be lonely.
Easing someone’s loneliness takes effort, but it isn’t necessarily complicated. There are plenty of simple ways you can help someone by spending time with them or introducing them to new people. Here are a few ideas to try:
- Invite a widowed member from your church or gym to lunch.
- Organize an outing to a holiday concert for a few single friends or neighbors.
- Offer to drive seniors to and from doctor appointments.
- Offer to accompany someone to a local garden club meeting or other social meeting. Talk about an ideal place to make new friends! If you can’t think of a specific person who might benefit from extra company, you can volunteer with organizations like Meals on Wheels or the Campaign to End Loneliness. Local groups affiliated with community centers and places of worship may also have opportunities for you to help others. Who knows, you may find that reaching out prevents you from feeling lonely, too.