Up to 40% of adults report feeling lonely or isolated. This can be concerning as studies have shown that loneliness takes it toll on our health. In fact, some have found that it is nearly twice as dangerous as obesity. Circumstances in life can leave retirees more vulnerable to isolation. Below are some steps to reduce that.

Examine the living situation. Widowhood is often the most common event that leads to loneliness. This can leave people spending many hours a day alone. Try to see if there are ways to become more engaged with the community. Are there adult day centers in town? Or any senior groups that meet to socialize?

Do you or the person in question like animals? A pet can be a great way to reduce loneliness. However, the person needs to be physically capable of taking care of a pet and have the means to provide for it. If they can do that, then adopting a pet might be a great idea.

Turn interests into ways to socialize: There are may clubs and organizations that help people with similar tastes and hobbies get together and have fun.

One important thing to remember is that everyone has varying levels of what is acceptable social interaction. What might feel like isolation to one person may just be solitude to another. It’s important to not force your personal feelings of what is acceptable social interaction on another person. These steps are for people who feel isolated and alone, not just appear to be from the outside.

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