One of my favorite things, when I tour a community, is seeing the residents sharing lunch together. It brings a huge smile to my face to see the friendships that residents at a community have developed with each other. Everyone comes into an independent or assisted living community new and wondering what it’ll be like and if they’ll meet anyone. It reminds me of the first day of middle school when I was new and wasn’t sure I’d have anyone to sit with in the lunchroom (talk about anxiety). But, it never seems to take long for friendships to form. Seniors in these communities have so much to talk about – from family to hobbies to where they’ve lived – they have decades of living to share.
These days, isolation and loneliness for seniors is at an all-time high. COVID has kept them cooped up in their homes, many for close to two years. I’ve heard over and over from families how their loved one is at home, alone and depressed, and they don’t know what to do. I encourage families (and will continue to do so) to let us help them. Communities are an excellent option – the residents are active, engaged, and have tons of opportunities to interact with others. They support each other and are anything, but lonely. But, if that doesn’t feel right, there are other options, such as in-home companion care; having someone come in and assist with preparing meals; cleaning a bit; and playing cards…it’s a help, and it’s also another person your loved one can talk with.
One of the greatest gifts you can give in life is also one of the simplest…sharing a meal with someone in need. Let’s ensure on February 18th that “no one eats alone”. If your loved one is eating alone, reach out and see what you can do to prevent them from being lonely. And let us know how we can help you come up with answers to keep your loved one from being isolated.
Learn more about the history of ‘No One Eats Alone Day‘.
Photo Credit: Jen and Clint Dowda (Yes, this is them sitting at their dining table together.)