Stay Connected to Avoid Loneliness

Himanshu Rath

After retirement from active service life, people gradually find themselves alone, as they are left behind by their grown-up children and other family members. Older people often feel uncomfortable, when their children live under the same roof, and no longer interact with them as in their growing up days. In most cases, younger generations prefer to live apart from their aging parents in most modern societies. Resultantly, older people are left behind alone to live on their own, without family support.

Loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher risks for health problems such as heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline. If you are in poor health, you may be more likely to be socially isolated or lonely.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, older people have suffered a lot due to unprecedented lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions. Several surveys suggest that older people were the most affected section of society during the pandemic-hit period, as most of them have to lead a completely marginalized and isolated life.

Older people are at higher risk for social isolation and loneliness due to changes in health and social interactions that can come with growing older viz. hearing, vision, and memory loss, disability, trouble getting around, and/or the loss of family and friends.

Staying Connected is the Need of the Hour

It is critically important for older people, living alone and feeling lonely, to maintain active social connections. They should always reach out to their friends, relatives, and others through various communication tools, social media, etc. They should interact with their neighbors if possible, visit parks, and other public places, participate in local, social, religious, cultural, and other kinds of programs, and always try to keep them occupied or engaged. Those who remain connected feel more active, happier, and remain healthy in old age.


Question: I am a retired professional of Indian origin and financially well-settled. I have been living in the USA for the past 35 years, and have grown-up children, who are not living with us now. I am suffering from depression for the past 3 years just after my retirement. I wanted to return to India, but my wife is not agreed. We had sold all our Indian properties. Please guide.

– Alok Mittal, 69, Florida

AgeWell: When you are alone and feel lonely, you are more depressed. To avoid loneliness, try to keep yourself engaged in social, cultural, religious, and other activities. If you feel depression more often, you should also consult with an experienced counselor. Returning to India at this stage could be a little problematic for you and your wife as well. However, there are some good senior care homes in India, if needed.


Question: We have to settle in New York with my daughter and her family, as there was no one to look after us in India. Initially, all was good, we adjusted with her family and small Indian community. Now we are missing our country and our home a lot. I am afraid, that if we return to India, how can we resettle in our old home and how can we arrange an old-age support system?

– Sheela Sehrawat, 75, New York City

AgeWell: You are fortunate enough to have such a caring daughter and family there. In old age, no support is better than family. You should enjoy your life and old age with your daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren, and new friends. You should keep yourself engaged in some outdoor social/ cultural activities in addition to taking care of your grandchildren and their house. Instead of returning to India permanently, you should visit India more often to meet your relatives and old friends.

For more info, contact: [email protected], WhatsApp: +919810030979, Address: Agewell Foundation USA Inc., 62W 47th ST STE 707, New York, NY-10036,

(The writer is the founder of the Agewell Foundation USA Inc. It is a 501(c)(3) registered Non-Profit initiative, committed to working for the welfare of destitute Old People desperately needing assistance.)

Images courtesy of (Image Courtesy: India TV News) and Provided

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