When a person starts going old, it’s not just the body that encounters problems but also the mind and the heart. Physical issues in old age come along with emotional and mental ones too. We have to consider and remember these problems so that we can prepare, understand, and help them in a better way.
One of the most evident social problems or issues that our elderlies are dealing with is social isolation. Because of their age, it causes a significant gap between the younger generations, and it somehow separates them from the circle. In families, older members are often well regarded. But at times, they are only being paid attention to during occasions and gatherings. In their daily lives, whether they are alone at home, living with their family, or in-home care. Elders would often experience this barrier that isolates them from the rest. Humans are naturally social beings, and for a person to live a life with having very little interaction, low social engagement, and a few quality relationships would lead them into having no sense of belongingness. Being socially isolated can lead to further illnesses and complications not just physically but mostly mentally and emotionally.
Loneliness & Frustration
Each social issue that an elderly might be going through is something that is correlated with the others. Take loneliness and frustration as an example. Because of being isolated and alone, it leads to a negative emotion such as loneliness. Being lonely could then lead into a mental conflict such as frustration that could cause ripples of other adverse effects, both internally and externally.
Elderlies are often stereotyped as a group of people who are burdensome, useless, ineffective, unproductive, asexual, boring, etc. Unfortunately, younger generations tend to forget that our elderlies deserve respect and attention too. These stereotypical thoughts will not help them in any way, and we should instead try to involve and engage ourselves with them even in simplest ways. Old people have lots of stories to tell, and maybe if ever you’d have the time to sit with them, you’ll learn a lot from what they share with you.
Since elders have more time to themselves, they tend to go back to what has happened in their lives, and usually, it revolves around their regrets. Even those who are busy would find it difficult to sleep at night because of regrets that flash backs all of a sudden. Since they have the time to think things thoroughly, they would have an inner will to try and fix broken relationships and reconcile with them. If we were in their position, I’m sure that we would feel and do the same too. This would only become an issue when they know that it’s impossible to reconcile with a particular person already. It could be because that person has already passed away or merely because they do not have the means or ability to do so.
These issues and problems may not seem evident at first look, but once we dig deeper and try to understand, we would then know that going through old age is not easy. It’s not just about the anxiety or fear of mortality, but it’s also about the physical, mental, and emotional suffering. If we could, as much as possible; prioritizing and giving the elderly attention and time is something that they would surely be thankful for. If you were almost at the end of your life’s journey, wouldn’t you be happy if you spent it with people who took good care of you and happily spent their time with you? I certainly would be.