You’re never too old to begin socialising and making new friends
A story about Marlene in Victor Harbor
We’re concerned about loneliness in our ageing population. Loneliness in Australia and across the globe has been coming to light as an issue that affects 25% of people, with Australians over 75 feeling more lonely than any other age group.
As scientists uncover more about the brain’s inner workings, they’ve discovered that loneliness triggers the fright-flight-fight reaction in the brain. This puts people who feel lonely into a more fearful state, so it gets harder and harder to get out and about and socialising if ignored for too long.
Enjoyable social connection, friendships and a sense of belonging are essential factors for good emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. Even if you haven’t had a socially supportive structure in your life so far, it’s never too late to make new friends, have new experiences and develop a community of people around you.
The main purpose of St Louis’ home care programs is to create experiences for older people to meet others and enjoy social connections. We take care to arrange events that we know our clients will enjoy. We’ve seen new friendships forming and people who were spending more and more time alone indoors, feeling happier and more fulfilled.
Marlene’s story – never give up and you’re never to old, to try something new
Marlene has been a home care client at St Louis Victor Harbor since November 2019.
She shared details of her experience of living alone and getting older and was happy for us to publish it here.
Marlene was always a quiet and shy lady through her marriage while bringing up children. When there was a family occasion to attend, she would always sit in the corner alone, and she never felt as though she could talk to anyone or wasn’t comfortable starting a conversation.
For years Marlene spent a lot of time at home alone, and her family were growing increasingly concerned about her becoming more isolated. With the help and encouraging perseverance of our Home Care Lifestyle Coordinator in Victor Harbor, Colette, she agreed to attend one of our social events this June. Her first activity was a bus trip for a drive and lunch and she thoroughly enjoyed herself.
Now Marlene comes to chair exercises, more bus trips as well as other activities she has picked out of her calendar ready for July. She says that she now she loves going out, meeting and talking with people and making new friends. Her outlook has changed so much and she feels very happy. She still values her quiet time at home but admitted she enjoys it more now because she’s not at home as much.
We asked Marlene if her family had noticed a difference and her reply was “yes they have noticed that I am much happier and that I am really enjoying getting out and about when they used to worry about me being home alone all the time”.
Marlene has blossomed with a little bit of help from the St Louis home care team, and she loves her new self. Stories like this are why we do the work we do, to help older Australians enjoy their life more. Sometimes this means persevering with some our clients to gently encourage them to get outdoors more, because we know they will benefit, and when it does, everyone’s happier.
Find out more about St Louis home care social programs - Adelaide and Victor Harbor
We publish our social calendars every month here, for both Adelaide and Victor Harbor activities so you can plan ahead for the events you’d like to attend. We organise a range of activities, from bus trip and art therapy classes, to exercise classes including hydrotherapy and chair-based classes. Give us a call on 08 8332 0950 to find out more or to book an event.