Combating Loneliness

Combating Loneliness

Interview with Kayla Schaf, Retirement Living Advisor
Written by Cory Kibler

This last year showed many of us what it’s like to live without regular human connection. Even those of us fortunate to remain physically healthy experienced social and mental repercussions.

For many seniors, this lack of connection is the reality all the time—pandemic or no. 

As we age, it becomes harder to forge and maintain relationships. We lose touch, settle down, move away, retire. Our kids grow up and leave the house, and we slowly abandon social routines. Even so, our need for relationships remains strong. We’re hard-wired for it.

In my role as a Retirement Living Advisor, I speak with seniors almost every day who want to curb their loneliness, but who are doubtful it can be done. This connection has been missing for so long, they can’t imagine how to regain it.

In these seniors, I see the potential for incredible transformation. I’ve seen it happen time and time again in my 20 years with Legacy. My thoughts frequently return to one gentleman who, after three years in residence, remarked that he feels truly seen every time he walks Legacy’s halls. Each day, he carries immense gratitude for his new friendships.

These relationships are the very core of life at Legacy. When we’re lonely, our sleep and diet are likely to suffer. Without plans for the day, our habits become irregular. The risk for depression rises, and we struggle to retain a healthy sense of self. By providing dynamic social lives for our residents, we ensure they always have something to look forward to.

It’s understandable why many seniors view retirement living as the end of something, but it certainly doesn’t have to be! I take great pride in telling future residents why Legacy is the start of an exciting new chapter filled with new friends, experiences, passions, and perspectives. 

To gauge your own connection to others, I suggest taking an inventory of your day. Who do you see? What do you do? What do you get excited about? Or, simply, “Is your environment serving you?” Many seniors want more, and I can’t wait for them to be served by Legacy. Just knowing they’ll be sharing breakfast with good friends every morning allows our residents to see a world full of new possibilities.