Click for Connection

Connect


Living alone has its pros and cons. If you live alone, you can leave your shoes by the front door, in the middle of the living room, or wherever you feel like it. You can paint the walls pink if that’s your favorite color. There’s no one to wake you up with a cacophony of snores. Yet, you might miss having a companion and feel lonely at times.

Living alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. People who live alone but still get out and about and engage with others socially generally report lower levels of loneliness. But what can you do if you live alone and can’t get out or don’t have anyone to talk to?

Research suggests that for older people living without companions, using the Internet can help reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness, and depression. It can also increase feelings of social support.

Connecting with old friends or far-away family on social media can help you reignite relationships and start conversations. With a little searching, you can also find support groups for whatever you might be going through or chat groups based on your favorite hobbies.

If your technology skills are a bit rusty, most libraries offer technology classes for older adults.

References

  • Cotten, S. R., Ford, G., Ford, S., & Hale, T. M. (2014). Internet Use and Depression Among Retired Older Adults in the United States: A Longitudinal Analysis. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 69(5), 763–771. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbu018
  • O'Súilleabháin, P. S., Gallagher, S., & Steptoe, A. (2019). Loneliness, living alone, and all-cause mortality: The role of emotional and social loneliness in the elderly during 19 years of follow-up. Psychosomatic medicine, 81(6), 521.