When a senior becomes single again later in life, it can be devastating. But there is hope.
Start by taking it slowly. Don’t push yourself to do more than you’re ready for.
When you do feel ready, these tips may help you begin to rebuild your life, forge new social connections, and thrive when you find yourself single again later in life.
Understand the Grieving Process
It’s important to understand that not everyone grieves in the same way. Some will be ready to face life again shortly after the burial. Others may require grief counseling.
Accept support when it’s offered, and seek it out if you need to. There is no shame in asking for help.
Others may judge your way of grieving but understand, they aren’t going through it. If it works for you, keep going. If not, seek help.
Take Care of Yourself
Remember to take care of yourself during this difficult time. Exercise, eating healthy, and making an effort to get dressed and go out can help stave off depression that may follow a loss.
It may also help to gain control of your finances and your home. Learn how to take care of bills if you weren’t in charge of that aspect of your life previously. Ask for help to learn how to do household chores that were your significant other’s responsibility before.
How to Start Making New Friends
The National Institute on Aging offers helpful tips for putting your life back together. At some point (although it may be hard to imagine right now) you may want to go out again. But don’t put pressure on yourself to rush. You will know when you’re ready for social engagements.
Even if you are considering dating in the future, it may be easier to go out in groups first. Don’t be afraid to make the first move and invite a few people out to an activity or lunch.
Join clubs or take classes doing things you enjoy. It’s easier to make friends when you already share common interests.
Feel Better by Volunteering
If you’re looking for a good reason to get out of the house after the loss of a spouse, volunteering may provide the outlet you need. Studies show that older Americans who volunteer reported higher levels of well-being than non-volunteers.
In fact, volunteering has a greater effect on seniors’ happiness than income, education level, or even marriage according to some studies. Volunteering can also reduce depression caused by the loss of a loved one.
Meet New People as a Volunteer
Volunteering provides a way to support a cause you believe in or to help others. You can expand your social circle by meeting like-minded individuals with similar beliefs and passions. There really isn’t a downside when you consider all the ways volunteering can improve the quality of your life after the loss of a spouse.
Check with your local library, church, or community center to find volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood. CreateTheGood.org also shares volunteering opportunities for seniors.
Enjoy Life at Five Star Senior Living
Older adults will find plenty of social activities, classes, and hobbies to enjoy in a Five Star independent living community. Why not take a tour today?