October 1st is the International Day of Older Persons which provides the opportunity to highlight many aspects of life for the elderly members of the community. Of the more debilitating aspects of ageing, loneliness is often deemed to be the most detrimental to our health and wellbeing – our Topic of Conversation this month is Loneliness and Ageing.
If we’ve been in the workforce for most of our adult life, retirement can leave us feeling we have been set adrift with nothing solid to hold onto. This is particularly difficult if we’ve placed value on what we ‘do’ rather than who we are within. Without a sense of purpose outside of ‘doing’ this can be a very challenging time in many people’s lives.
So how do we avoid feelings of loneliness as we age? There are many activities open to us. For instance, we can join various community groups, art, craft, book clubs, bushwalking, sporting, and gardening clubs to name just a few. These can all be enjoyable pastimes and are great avenues to get us out and about to meet other people. The key here is perhaps ‘other people’.
On the Relationship page, Gayle has shared a segment from the book ‘A Book of Joy, lasting happiness in a changing world’ which offers, in the words of the Dalai Lama:
“Sometimes I say that too much self-centeredness closes our inner door, and it becomes hard to communicate with other people. When we are concerned with the well-being of other human beings, that inner door opens, and we are able to communicate very easily with other people.”
Whether it is your personal journey or from what you have noticed happening for others in your community, we invite you our readers, to share your experience of Loneliness and Ageing.