Eliminate Social Isolation and Loneliness
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” said Dr. Seuss. “Where shall I go, and how shall I get there?” says many of us who don’t drive or have an easy way to get a ride. Don’t sit home alone wishing you were getting out and about, regardless if it’s for a little socialization at your local grocery store, making an appointment at the hair salon or barber, or perhaps joining some family or friends for a meal.
At a recent luncheon celebrating the Independent Transportation Network (ITN) SunCoast, a nonprofit organization that provides low-cost transportation to people 60+ and adults that are visually impaired, I met and talked to several people that have been impacted personally here on the SunCoast. Barbara told me that she needed to stop driving two years ago and reluctantly gave up the keys. Within a month, she was back to her regular weekly routine of Tai Chi, lunch with friends, and her twice-monthly manicure thanks to her daughter talking her into trying ITN SunCoast. Jason walked up to a group of us that were chatting and waited patiently with his white cane to introduce himself and join the conversation. He grinned when he said he likes to just walk around at events until he comes upon an interesting conversation. He likes to attend luncheons and social events, and can, with some help from ITN SunCoast.
At the Second Annual Come Ride With Us luncheon, Rich Luker, the guest speaker, gave us some interesting thoughts to ponder and act upon in 2018. “We all need something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for! Life is about who you are with, not what you do. Did you know that more of us 55 and older believe that our best years are yet to come?”
I certainly agree with that statement; there is still so much life yet to be lived!
If you are reading this blog, chances are you communicate through technology and in some way are involved with social networking. “These days,” said Rich, “this technology is not social or networking. Time spent online is today’s junk food. It may seem fun at the time, but doesn’t really sustain us well. We are in communication with other people, but not in relationships with them.”
How would you measure social engagement? Here’s an idea: If you can describe what you are doing with others in five words or less, it’s not social engagement. If it’s engaging, you can’t describe it without telling a story. Make this a year of going places, doing things, and engaging with others!
- TAGS: Enabling to Engaging, Issues to Aspirations
- CATEGORIES: Transportation, Social Participation, Community Support and Health Services