For anyone, including older adults, that sense of connection is crucial. According to the magazine ‘Mind over Matter’ (put out by the Women’s Brain Health Initiative) “loneliness increases the risk of dementia in older adults by as much as 64%”
That said, human beings also require solitude or what is often called: ‘me time’ or ‘alone time’. The point is to have a balance : some ‘in’ time, some ‘out’ time–and not all one or the other.
You will find that as a caregiver (see ‘Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians’ by Rick Lauber, published by Self-Counsel Press) you must forego some of your social obligations, in favor of precious time alone. Obviously though, not to the point of isolating yourself.
Here are two quotes I’ve gleaned on the subject of loneliness and that need for connection:
“We need other human beings in order to be human” Desmond Tutu
“Oak trees just grow stronger, Rivers grow wilder every day, Old people just grow lonesome, Waiting for someone to say: ‘Hello in there, hello.'”
John Prine in : ‘Lessons from a Caregiver’ by Laurel A. Wicks (book review forthcoming).
Who was it that said: ‘Only connect.’? The name escapes me, if you know it, post a comment.
Here’s a toast to your health and well-being!