September 10, 2017
By Jane Sandwood
Over a quarter of adults over the age of 65 live alone in America, with 79% of these being women. What’s even more of a concern is that 12% of these adults living alone don’t have enough money to pay their daily expenses. Food, shelter and warmth is a basic human right and there shouldn’t be seniors living without.
Taking care of yourself
Hunger has a terrible effect on seniors, the statistics are there – almost 10% of senior Americans face the threat of hunger. This figure has doubledin 15 years. Many of the older generation that go hungry are no longer taking care of themselves, and this is where they need help. Meals on wheels are essential in these circumstances, but shouldn’t be there for the elderly to have a little human contact, yet that is a common comment for so many people. The sad fact is that if you live on your own you are more likely be going hungry on a regular basis.
Feeding seniors, feeding the soul
What would you say is the key to a happy life when you’re older? The answer for most would be to be active and see family and friends often. Yet there are so many elderly that are living alone with very little contact from anyone, and sadly family. Visiting your loved ones is so important. A smile and a conversation with another person shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be normal. Even more seriously, there is a link between social isolation and poverty. People who are socially isolated are more likely to go hungry and to be diagnosed with dementia. It is certainly food for thought.
Visiting your loved ones
When was the last time you visited a family member in a care home? It might have been your Grandmother last week, or maybe an elderly aunt a month ago. And when you did, I bet it crossed your mind that “when I get old, I don’t want to move into a care home.” However, residential facilities can be wonderful places. They are homes full of peer groups, your nutritional needs are taken care of, there are organised activities for seniors, and staff on hand to help.
Then imagine being elderly, perhaps you have had a hip operation and you can’t get out and about. You’re living in your flat on your own with no one around. Sure, there’s “independence”, but living on your own can breed loneliness and isolation. What would you prefer? So next time you’re passing, just pop in. Ten minutes is no time at all, yet it can make the world of difference to how someone feels. Be part of the solution to combating loneliness.
Arthur Biography: Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer with over 10 years’ experience across many fields. She decided to move into freelancing to take advantage of the flexibility and work-life balance it offers. Jane has a particular interest in issues relating to health, fitness and nutrition.