The importance of socialization as we age cannot be underestimated. Re-occurring headlines of someone found deceased proclaims this fact quite clearly. The links below are to articles of people who have died unnoticed, for weeks, even years. Reading these articles begs the question why.
Elderly German Lady
People Who Have Passed Away Unnoticed
Increasing technology has led to increased isolation. Today, it is possible to have social security checks deposited into a bank account. To set up online payments for most if not all of our monthly bills. It is very feasible that someone could go months if not year in total social isolation. Either by choice or by default.
As dismal as the above articles are, these things can be prevented somewhat by maintaining a social life well into retirement. Retirement is the perfect time to pursue hobbies neglected earlier in life, to take classes at a community college or senior citizen center.
Maintaining old friendships, and making new friendships is vital to a healthy mental outlook for people of any age. However for senior citizens this may well be a life saver. It is true everyone dies at some point, but how horrible it is to die without notice?
A few years ago, several houses were torn down on a street we lived on. These houses were torn down because whoever owned these houses had not paid taxes in years, so the county took possession of them. Auctioning them off to pay the unpaid taxes. However, before these houses were auctioned off someone went in to inspect the properties. Sadly someone’s skeleton was found inside one of the homes. I never learned the identity of that person, but I’ve often reflected on how lonely that person must have been.
The senior years may be the best time to revive the lost are of afternoon tea with a neighbor. Staying involved in your community, and church is a positive way to spend retirement. Traveling the world or even just the countryside is not always feasible or possible as a senior citizen.
My father was an example of someone who lived fully until he passed away. He never met a stranger as he had the gift of gab. He loved fishing, reading, and science. He continued with the things he loved up until his premature death. Pancreatic Cancer took his life.