As the holiday season has drawn to a close, business will return to usual. Life will get busy again and the remainder of the school year and ever alluring draw of summer’s approach will draw our attention to various things. Of those things and during the return to normalcy, don’t forget to carve out time for those elder members of your family.
More than one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely and nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated according to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).* Older adults, aka grandma and grandpa, are more likely to experience social isolation due to factors such as living alone, loss of hearing, chronic illness, or death of friends and family members.
Every year, senior citizens spend more and more time alone after the holiday season. Where they were once surrounded by the family they raised and helped to create during Thanksgiving and Christmastime, life gets busy for everyone, and those elder family members are left in their homes or care centers to fend for themselves emotionally. So, the next time you see your elderly family members, be sure to take a few extra minutes to sit and talk and to give them an extra-long and loving hug. They will appreciate it more than you could ever know.
Reference: *National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25663.