As your elders get older, it gets harder and harder for them to maintain any kind of friendships. Friends move away, or end up in nursing homes and yes of course some pass away. It has been said that friends are “good medicine”. New friends and old friends have the potential to enhance the quality of your elders life. Here are six reasons why:
A friend makes an excellent audience to reminisce about past experiences and relationships, which help your loved ones come to terms with their lives. Sharing such pastimeswith friends is easier than sharing it with family members who often have a vested interest in denying their loved ones past or avoiding sensitive issues.
A friend can bring fun again to your loved ones life. Family members are often consumed with providing care and financial assistance, they forget that distractions can be a good thing . Friends just want to have a good time.
An old friend helps an elderly person maintain a sense of continuity. Friends who have known each other for decades look at each other’s faces don’t see old people. They see each other as they were when they met. Your loved one can look at their friend and remember their first meeting whether it was in high school, college or their first roommate.
Having a friend forces an older person to be less self-absorbed and more altruistic. Friendship compels an older person to forget about their own worries and instead worries about their friends well being.
A new friend will provide an opportunity to explore new things. There’s no need to maintain an old image with a new friend. Because there’s no common past to share, exploring new things with a new friend can be more exciting.
Having a friend to confide in helps an older person cope with problems more effectively. When you have someone that shares the same issues, little things don’t seem so bad. Friends can offer support, encouragement, new ideas and often just a different perspective.
Information provided by Rachel Zukerman