Loneliness and the state of being alone or living alone are two different things.
Loneliness is an unhappy feeling. It’s a condition of emptiness and longing and can be one of self-pity and anxiety.
Aloneness is a lifestyle and one of choice to allow one to live independently. Loneliness is not exclusive to older people and is found in all age groups.
People deal with it in different ways.
They may rush about frantically, talk endlessly on the telephone, etc. but often lack a feeling of contentment.
Aloneness may not mean solitude. It may include relationships and activities but also time for privacy.
Loneliness may be a problem for some older people but it has little to do with living alone. Research indicates that it may involve many factors. It may develop because of hearing and vision losses, the death of one’s spouse, poor communication patterns and loss of support people in one’s life.
Those who choose to live alone as a lifestyle are usually healthy and active. Those who are alone and do not want to be, need help to build supportive relationships again and help to cope with disability or chronic disease so that they can remain healthy and fulfilled.
This is a worthwhile area for caregivers and volunteers to become involved in. The real pain of loneliness can be eased, if others care.
Community Care offers many programs and services to bring seniors together. Many of these services are on hold due to the pandemic. We’re doing other things, however, and you are invited to take part. We have a team of caring volunteers making reassurance / wellness calls to seniors.
The volunteers get as much out of the calls as do the people they call. We have weekly telephone group chats on pertinent topics. These are free and open to all seniors. Online webinars are another offering and participation is growing.
We have volunteers to help people get set up for participation if that’s a challenge. The Rural Route Reassurance program – offered jointly by Community Care, Canada Post and CUPW – is still on the road. All of these ways to address being self-isolated, along or lonely can be yours by making a phone call to Community Care at 613-476-7493. Just leave your name, number and a detailed message. Staff are working from home offices and check messages regularly.
We help seniors live at home.
Community Care’s Thrift Shop is getting ready to reopen. Safety measures have been put in place to ensure customers, donors and volunteers can be as safe as possible. Physical distancing to be practiced. Tap/Credit now available. Customers will be asked to wear a face covering. Donations will be accepted by appointment. Call 613-476-1555. Hours of operation Monday 1-4pm, Tues. – Fri. 10 a.m. -4 pm and closed on Saturday until further notice. Check Community Care’s Thrift Shop Facebook page for more updates.
-Debbie MacDonald Moynes