The Fono

Health & Social Services

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The holidays is a time when family and friends traditionally come together. But for some elderly, this can be very lonely and isolating while families balance commitments and busy lives.

There are many reasons why the elderly may end up socially isolated, including poor health, loss of a spouse, transportation issues, smaller social networks, and lack of money. This can lead to a higher chance of depression, eating issues and illness.

Talking about loneliness within your family is important, and finding ways to make time with your loved ones and friends will help combat feelings of loneliness. Sometimes scheduled visits can be a good option. Also try to check in with each other regularly to ensure everyone is okay.

Church can be the right place to encourage social interaction, and picking up loved ones for an outing every now and again can also help. It is important the elderly are able to attend some social events including birthdays, weddings and funerals, fishing down at the wharf or attending community events. For those less mobile, encouraging friends to visit is a good idea. Always be mindful of the length of outings and visits, as the elderly can get tired easily.

Reaching out within our busy lives to be inclusive and open to others can make a world of difference, and small efforts represent a huge connection for those whose days are spent behind closed doors.

Some ideas to counteract loneliness include:

  • Scheduled family visits
  • Encouraging friends to visit at home
  • Picking up family members and going on outings
  • Participating in community activities such as church
  • Attending social events such as birthdays, weddings, and grandchildren’s school events
  • Checking in with a regular phone call
  • Offer to help with shopping

Find out more

Older Peoples Support Programmes