Connection is Important for the Elderly

  How many times have you thought that you really should get together with this or that elderly relative, or call them to see how they are doing?  How many times have you heard the life story of an unrelated person and been deeply encouraged by their struggle & triumphs in life?  How many times have you gone to the funeral of a dear one & regretted that you didn't take the time to ask them just a little more, or reach out to connect with them on a deeper level?

All of us, as humans, have an intrinsic need to connect on a deeper level with other people.  There is something comforting about knowing that someone else knows & accepts who we are & still cares enough to continue friendship.  We need connection in order to learn & grow from other people, but we also need to share with them about our lives so that we know that the struggles were not in vain or wasted.

This time period in history is unprecedented with regards to technology, and, one would think that that fact makes it easier to connect in a meaningful way with those we care about.  The opposite seems to be true, however.  We send quick texts to those who have that option available & generally the subjects are not those that help anyone to get to know one another better, but rather help us solidify schedules & send grocery lists.  On social media sites we're (necessarily so) more likely to post less personal information  & not have a true conversation with someone.  Phone calls have even begun to go by the wayside, especially with the younger generation.

I don't have the answers for ensuring that we don't lose connection from one another.  It does begin with us, though.  We can start by setting aside 30 minutes & calling to schedule a visit with someone we love.  Visit an elderly friend or relative & bring them a snack & listen to their stories from long ago.  If you're unable to visit, take time to make a call.  Everyone talks about the busyness of life, yet many of those same people are on social media often, or know all about the latest episodes of their favorite television shows.  If we have time for those less important endeavors, perhaps we do have the ability to make time for more important times of connection.  It does require something from us, but the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice.