• How Seniors Can Extend and Enhance Lives
    Geetanjali Biswas
    04 Aug 2019
    Beat the loneliness, make friends with youngsters!

Did you know that loneliness has the same effect as smoking 16 cigarettes in a day? We have over 110 million senior citizens in the country, out of whom 78% say they feel lonely and miss feeling ‘needed’. This is a cause of worry, as the number of senior citizens is likely to become 180 million within a decade, and depression will be ruled as the #1 underlying cause of their physical problems and ailments. Many problems related to depression, anxiety and poor communication skills arise not only among senior citizens but among young children and teenagers, too.

But there’s good news- Allowing regular interactions between the young and old has shown more effectiveness in curbing them more than anti-depressants or any other medications! We all know how happily grandparents narrate stories to young children. Seniors want to express and generally share stories while the young minds want to learn and absorb everything they see, hear or experience. Research shows that developing relationships between the elderly and the young can be beneficial for the wellbeing of both parties.

Although there aren’t many official communities established for this yet, there are simple things you can do to ensure you get a good quality time with everyone around you:

  • Love yourself first - Self-respect is the first rule of living a happy life. Please understand that ‘being alone’ and ‘feeling lonely’ are two very different things. You can be in a crowd but still feel lonely or you can be Alone and yet enjoy life with everything it has to offer! The choice will always be yours to make.
  • Just show up! - Familiarity breeds attraction. Studies especially found that strangers of the same gender felt increasingly affectionate and caring about each other after every conversation they had. You can message them, call them up or simply show up if they live in the neighborhood to say a simple Hello.
  • Smile more - You will look approachable and feel better about yourself from within. This will make it easy for people to come forward and have a conversation with you. Be it at the market, a bus or garden- always have a peaceful smile on your lips and watch how many people want to start talking to you.

Although this generation is crammed with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and god knows how many other social media apps; deep down they truly miss having real connections with real people. Interacting with a person today can be the start of a meaningful friendship tomorrow. So go ahead, be the friend every person of any age deserves to have in their lives…

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