In my youth, I do not really want to think aboutthe problem of the loneliness of the elderly. But it does not go away from this. Even if you are now full of energy, and your life is like a cycle of various events, you are not insured from loneliness in old age. What are its causes? How to avoid it? Read our article about loneliness in old age, and you will learn the answers to all your questions.
Old age as a life stage
Before you start talking about the problemloneliness of the elderly, it is necessary to determine the fact that there is old age in general. Many people associate this concept with the phenomenon of menopause. Hormonal restructuring, which causes changes in the physiology of the body and, of course, in the state of mind, does not pass without a trace: women experiencing menopause become anxious, indecisive, irritable and pessimistic. Approximately the same thing happens with men who do not always successfully overcome the crisis of middle age. However, if you shake your brains, it becomes clear that the menopause and everything associated with it passes, and that's when old age comes. The scientists who studied this period distinguish several stages within it:
How will you live at the end of your life? First of all, you will have to adapt to the changes in your mental processes. Memory seriously worsens: an elderly person finds it difficult to remember where he put his glasses or where the notebook lies. At the same time, important or emotionally charged events continue to be as fresh. As we already mentioned above, mental flexibility is reduced, which leads to problems in learning new things. That's why it's so hard to explain to your grandmother how to use a mobile phone (it's better to forget about the Internet at all). Of course, this should not be a verdict: the world is full of old people who do not suffer from loneliness and old age due to new hobbies and cravings for interesting things. Thinking abilities at this age can also deteriorate, but this can be influenced. In particular, the absence of chronic diseases, adequate income level, good ecology, close relationships with the spouse and children, participation in activities requiring mental effort, and, of course, satisfaction with life, have a positive effect on the intellect. This may seem strange, but generalizing the above, it can be argued that in happy people the brain works better! Your personality also will not remain unchanged. In old age, many traits of character are sharpened, for example, irritability or meticulousness. At the same time, the general level of vitality drops - a person becomes more calm and passive. Many old people have such peculiar qualities as submissiveness, suggestibility and dependence on the opinions of others (or television speeches). That's why older people are so often driven by the swindler's tricks.
The causes of loneliness in old age
As you probably knew, loneliness andOld age is not synonymous. At the same time, we can observe such a picture: more and more elderly people call themselves lonely. This is due to various reasons, including those with age-related changes. Therefore, interest in the problem of the loneliness of older people implies the coverage of this issue. So, what is the root of all ills?
- Decrease in the number of things interestingman If you were interested in the whole world in adolescence and adulthood, then this circle narrows to old age. As we have already mentioned, elderly people are less active, more conservative and rigid, do not tolerate changes and new events in life. But it is all this is a source of vivid impressions and subsequently becomes a topic for communication!
- It's not a secret for anyone thatthe character of many old people becomes simply unbearable. In the elderly, various personal traits intensify: an irritable person explodes on any smallest occasion, the pedantic turns into a rare bore, and the anxious person ceases to leave the house because of his numerous fears. Agree, this greatly complicates the prospects of communicating with the surrounding people.
- Mental disordersage undergoes certain metamorphoses that are not pleasant. The so-called age changes are the deterioration of memory, attention, perception, a decrease in the speed of thinking and reaction time. There are cases when they go abroad the norm and go on to the category of mental disorders: Alzheimer's disease, all kinds of dementia and dementia, senile psychoses, etc. ... Of course, that it is very difficult to communicate with a mentally ill person.
- The deterioration of communication with the family The circle of feelings is narrowingelderly person to relatives - his emotions become more polar, intermediate shades disappear. Old grievances can be actualized, which leads to a break in contact with one of the relatives. It happens that the love of an elderly person concentrates on one single member of the family, for example, on a daughter or grandson, which leads to obsession in communication.
- Objective loss of communication partners - moreone factor that affects the loneliness of older people The older a person becomes, the more likely it is to face the death of one of friends or acquaintances. Anyway, this narrows the circle of communication, and due to personal and mental changes, it is not possible to make new acquaintances.
- Retirement Work for an adultis the main source of communication. Over the long working years, we are accustomed to sharing with our colleagues events in family life, impressions of travel, new classes, spending holidays together. After retirement, the amount of communication is dramatically reduced, because you no longer meet with these people every day.
- Specificity of communication Because of the reasons described abovethe subject of conversations becomes peculiar. You probably noticed this when you were surrounded by old women in a transport or polyclinic: constant "sores" are often in the spotlight. In addition, the elderly who have experienced many negative events in their life often become angry and resentful to the whole world. In their speech, it also shows discontent with the modern way of life, complaints about the government and other negativism. The thoughts about the imminent death also do not increase the number of people wishing to communicate with an elderly person.
Loneliness in old age: norm or rejection?
Do not think about being alone in the elderlyage, as a natural phenomenon. Despite the reasons described above, an older person can adapt to age-related changes. There are factors that prevent the onset of loneliness in old age. For example, the balance of the nervous system blocks the formation of mental disorders, reduces the number of negative age-related changes in the psyche and serves as the basis for a calm communication between the elderly person and others. Very much depends on public opinion about the elderly. For example, in the East it is accepted to treat elderly respectfully - they are progenitors, they have more life experiences, which makes them wise in the eyes of younger members of society. Everyone listens to their opinion and devotes much attention to communication with them. Due to this, in eastern countries, and did not hear about such a problem as the loneliness of older members of society. However, preservation of contacts with the family is even more important, because this sphere of life is the source of resources and support for the elderly person. It is very important for him to feel attention, warmth, love and care on the part of native people. And do not necessarily become a burden to them, which can be frustrating for both sides. An elderly person can easily engage in simple household chores or sit with a child. First, it is quite adequate activity for a given age and gives an opportunity for self-realization, as a result of which the grandmother or grandfather has self-confidence and self-esteem. Secondly, he will be more actively involved in family affairs, which in itself is the basis for communication. Thus, in the presence of imagination and savvy, the loneliness of the elderly people ceases to be something inevitable for them. At the same time, much in this matter depends on the type of psychological aging a person is exposed to. Psychologists describe several such options:
- "Grumpy" old age Surely you've come acrosssimilar type of elderly people - they criticize everything that surrounds them: relatives, government, roads, polyclinics and even young mothers with strollers. The only one who does not have defects is the grumbler himself. And since he knows best how to live, he wants to share this knowledge with others, regardless of whether they want it or not. Especially often the object of attacks are young people. Usually this variant of aging is observed in those who initially have a tendency to aggressive behavior, and in the elderly this feature is strengthened. It's sad, but that's how these people assert themselves.
- "Unhappy" old age Such old people canto see from afar: an extinct look, a hunched back, a shuffling gait. In the speech there is always nagging in one form or another. And all of the fact that these people are completely disappointed in life and in themselves, their self-perception boils down to the idea of a lonely and sad loser. They constantly regret the missed opportunities, can not forgive their own mistakes, cursing and blaming themselves for insolvency. Memories of dark periods of life do not go out of their heads, and this makes such old people deeply miserable people.
- "Family" old age Usually it is chosen by grandmothers. It is believed that the main purpose of women - to be the keeper of the home. After retirement, the grandmother turns to her family and takes on various troubles: she prepares, tidies up an apartment, engaged in gardening, sits with her grandchildren. Such cases never end, so an elderly woman always feels needed and in demand. At the same time, there is an opinion that the household is not a true self-actualization, so the level of happiness in people with this type of aging is somewhat lower than the last two options, but more on this later.
- "Healthy" old age Because the durationthe average man's life is much lower than that of a woman, he prefers to fight it and retires to actively take care of his health. Outwardly such an old man is very active, engaged in various sports, adheres to any system of healthy eating and likes to communicate on these topics with supporters of this way of life. The most important thing is that anxiety about health does not become pathological and does not become a hypochondria. Precisely because of such cases of polyclinics are full of people who harass doctors with their real and imaginary complaints (the latter, naturally, is more). In the normal version, such old people are quite satisfied with their lives.
- "Adaptive" old age Each of us is full of casesand desires, which he for some reason did not have time to implement. And now comes the long-awaited retirement, which involves a lot of free time. An elderly person develops a stormy activity aimed at his own well-being: if finances permit, he travels a lot, visits a lot of interesting circles and master classes and even goes to dances. Naturally, it's impossible to name such a life alone, so the level of satisfaction in this type of old age is quite high.
- "Creative" old age Some people are impossible"Retire": they work until the very last moment. The termination of professional activity can be stress for them, but they quickly find a substitute for it: public organizations, volunteer movements, political parties, mentoring - all these spheres allow the elderly person to actively participate in life and show creative activity, passing on their experience and knowledge of youth. Some psychologists doubt that this option is good, suspecting choosing him in a bad family relationship. But such people are never alone and quite happy living their lives, and this, perhaps, is the main thing.
How to deal with the loneliness of the elderly?
Thus, it can be argued that the person himselfis the smith of his happiness. It is not necessary to remain in old age and alone at the end of life - you can continue to communicate with other people and contact the world in almost all circumstances. What do I need to do? Activity In order not to remain lonely in old age, it is very important to remain active. How does the majority of pensioners live in our country? For days on end sit at home, and the exit to a clinic, shop or a party on the bench is considered something out of the ordinary. A person becomes passive, and the only opportunity to receive new impressions is the hope that someone will come and do something. And this, unfortunately, happens very rarely. Therefore, it is very important to show interest and initiative in relation to their own activities - whatever it may be. To meet new people and to communicate is impossible only at home (if you are not, of course, going to the guests) - in all other cases it is very likely. Especially when it comes to any group classes or clubs for the elderly. Creativity The concept of "creativity" is very extensive, and we understand it as an opportunity for self-realization. This means that a person finds for himself some interesting occupation that brings him positive emotions and does not let him wither away from boredom. An elderly person can do his hobby at home, but it is much more productive and more fun to do this in a company of the same retirees. And yet, what to do in old age? The answers to this question can be a lot. First of all, it's good to remember what you always wanted to do, but you did not have enough time. For sure, each person has such unrealized desires, for example, molding pottery or landscape design. And maybe you already did something interesting in your youth, and now it's time to think about these things. Drawing, making hand-made articles, photography - the modern world provides a lot of opportunities for self-realization, accordingly, you can choose any of them. Intelligence The possibilities of full communication can be severely limited if your thinking begins to lose its usual sharpness. Yes, and agree, it is much more interesting and pleasant to communicate with an intelligent person who has something to learn. That is why it is so important to keep the intellect and other cognitive abilities at the right level. To do this, arrange exercises for the mind: learn by heart poems, solve logical problems, train attention. All these exercises are not in vain - they help to maintain the flexibility of thought processes, which delay the onset of old age. The opportunity to engage in intellectual work is also a plus. Look at the scientists - among them there are far fewer people suffering from senile mental disorders, and many in general manage to maintain the adequacy of the worldview to a very late age. Character Nobody wants to communicate with a grumbler or a miser. Unfortunately, sometimes a person does not notice his transformation into an unpleasant character. That's why you should not allow yourself to dissolve and demonstrate to others all the shortcomings of your character. What negative qualities for the elderly age are gaining in strength?
- The malignancy;
Watch your behavior for manifestationthese and similar character traits. Old age is not a universal permission to behave as the soul chooses. More precisely, you can, but, most likely, it will make you completely a lonely person. Respect "Treat others as you want them to treat you" - many readers have probably heard about this wisdom. At the same time, we often swear at surrounding people, condemn them and call fools and ignoramuses. In the old age, this trend is increasing, and now you are swimming in an ocean of contempt for everyone else. It is important to stop in time, because the attitude towards other people and self-esteem are inextricably linked. He who respects himself, respects others. He will not allow humiliation in his address and never sink to it himself. And it is to this person that people are drawn. Optimism Our old people can understand: the restructuring that happened in the nineties, it was a great shattering of their ranks, and instead of a well-fed stable future, which they hoped, they are forced to drag out a half-existence. But even under these difficult conditions, somebody manages to maintain an optimistic attitude. Of course, it is much easier to give up everything and go down into pessimism. But this, as a rule, frightens the surrounding people. Try to focus on those positive events that take place in your life. Even if something bad happens, it is important to understand that this is the inevitable law of being, and the black stripe is necessarily followed by white. Love for yourself Have you noticed that you are attracted to self-confident and positive people? The secret is to love yourself. If a person does not pay attention to their needs and desires, does not develop his abilities, and generally waved his hand for a long time - what interest can there be from others? Therefore, even in old age (especially in old age!), You should not forget that you are also a person - with your worldview, mood and needs. Do not sacrifice yourself to anything or anyone: grandchildren, children, or household chores. Take time, pamper yourself - in general, do everything the same as younger people. We must not forget that we come to this world and go away alone. However, life itself is happy only if we share it with kindred spirits. As a rule, they are family, friends and other close people. Therefore, the most important rule for those who do not want to remain lonely in old age - appreciate your relatives! And remember that youth is a state of mind. If you continue to remain flexible and active, interesting and creative, then you will always be surrounded by positive personalities, and you will avoid loneliness in old age. We advise you to read: