The Elderly Living In Isolation
When I was a toddler, a 64 year old woman took care of me. She was married and had three children, two boys and a girl. Many years later, her children married and had their own children. One of those kids is my cousin. My cousin was the lady’s company until my cousin had to leave her. One day my mom called the lady and she asked to talk to me. We talked for a good half an hour. She told me about her life and how she missed me. I told her that I held her to a very high esteem. As we were talking, it was really sad when she “wished her family could visit her”. The last time I talked to her was two years ago. Now, I understand that she feels lonely and isolated from her family. I used to call her grandma and she was really nice to me. Then, I realized that many people might feel isolated from the world and others might realize that they are alone and old.
I want to help people who feel lonely, therefore I researched what was like to live in isolation. Seniors who live in isolation are in the ages of 65 and older, most of these seniors don’t have any kids meaning that there is no one looking after them. Feeling isolated can affect them both physically and mentally. Seniors that live in isolation often experience elder abuse, seniors who are part of the LGBT community fall on the range of seniors that are isolated the most. Living in isolation can cause depression, high blood pressure, and long-term illnesses. Also, elders who feel isolated tend to be pessimistic about their future. All these things are something our community should be worried about. One day far from this one I would not like to feel like that. If I get to feel like that I will want someone to help me go through that moment in my life.
This is a picture of an elderly woman sadly looking out of the window. What could she be thinking? Is she waiting for someone? Is she hoping someone will visit her?
The website Senior Advice provides a video of two elders,Roy Croucher and Margaret Nickless. They talk about how it is like to feel that they are old and lonely. In the video, Margaret talks about how sad it is to realize that when you get home the only thing you see are “empty rooms”. Roy follows up with that and says that every Saturday night he waits for a call “sitting down near to the phone so I can answer right away”. Roy gets a phone call once in while from volunteers at the senior center he goes to. When he gets that phone call he claims that it might be the only call he could get in a day Like Margaret, he also talks about realizing that his house is empty. Adding to that Roy says that sometimes he waits for his dead wife to cross the door, but he knows that it will never happen. Their situation is really sad, as a community we should support people like Margaret and Roy. These people are in need of an “I care about you”.
Just imagine if that was the case of your grandma, the grandma that bakes cookies and brownies for you. If it was your grandpa, the man that enlightens your day with compliments and advice. Imagine if that person was your parents, imagine if that was you in the future. The website Aging Care, explains how we could help our friends living in isolation. The person who is helping is called a caregiver, the relationship between the caregiver and the senior is all about listening and communicating. According to T. Byram Karasu, MD "They are lonely because they are alone," "They [seniors] are put in nursing homes, assisted living communities, etc. Those are totally disorienting experiences." Seniors are lonely because there is no one to help them, the mission of the caregiver is to listen and observe. It all starts when the caregiver offers their pair of ears to listen them, but while they are opening themselves the caregiver should be able to record those forgotten activities that the person used to do, after that,the caregiver could incorporate those activities in the life of the elderly person.
This picture shows that there is a higher percentage of people dying of loneliness than excessive drinking, obesity, and air pollution.
Sally Abrahms wrote an article about 6 steps that will help to reduce isolation among elderly people. Sally Abrahms says that if we know the situation in which the person is living in, if they like animals,, and acknowledge the resources we have available. We can help that person feel better, feel confident and important. It is time to help the people in our communities. Just like children, seniors are part of our community.
Knowing all that information makes me feel powerful, I feel I can make a change in someone’s life by telling them that they are important to me. I Personally did not know that this was a serious problem in our community until one day I was going to school and a lady about 73 years-old got on the bus she was friendly and was going to her work like she had told her friends. I was amazed by what I’ve had heard that morning. Months later, I saw the same lady with a huge smile and tired eyes that could tell me that she has been through a immense adventure, a person who is full of advice to give, but she was staring at the window of the bus, she was tired and her smile disappeared. I don’t know if she is feeling isolated or if I am just making assumptions from what I saw on a ride on the bus. A senior could be feeling lonely and I would be glad to help. The elderly living in isolation is that topic that sometimes we want to avoid because we don’t know what to say or what to do about it. If we are so called the “change”and “the future”, then we should start caring more about huge issues like, seniors living in isolation.
This is the smile we want to see in someones face.
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