Fill the Void of Loss

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Companionship Could Help Fill the Void of Loss

From Gary Freeman of the Home Instead Senior Care® office in Red Oak, TX               

Q. Since my husband of 55 years died last year, I have been lonely. Frank always was so thoughtful and understanding, and he was a wonderful companion. My friends tease me that I should try online dating. Do people my age do that? All I really want is someone to help me fill the time. 

The loss of a lifelong companion is, indeed, a traumatic event. That's why it's important to try to stay active and involved. While you can't replace that important relationship, you can help to fill your life with meaningful activities.

There certainly is no age restriction on dating. In fact, a Pew Research Study from the spring of 2015 revealed that online dating is a practice the senior group is engaging in. While the study showed younger people were more likely to use online dating sites, those approaching their senior years are hardly strangers to the web. Researchers found that 6 percent of those 55 to 64, and 3 percent of those 65 and older, used online dating sites.

If you're not in the market for romance, though, there are many other options for companionship. Check with your local senior center or Area Agency on Aging to learn about programs in your community that might appeal to you. Faith organizations also have groups that help provide companionship for seniors including those who are widowed.

Or consider contacting your local Home Instead Senior Care® office. The company hires CAREGiversSM, many of whom are seniors who share similar interests with the older adults for whom they provide care. CAREGivers can accompany seniors to social events and help them participate in hobbies and other activities they have enjoyed but may no longer want to do alone.

CAREGivers can provide other assistance to you as well including meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, shopping and errands.

Loneliness can be a dangerous risk. The subjective feeling of loneliness increases risk of death by 26 percent, according to a study from Brigham Young University researchers published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Social isolation — or lacking social connection — and living alone were found to be even more devastating to a person's health than feeling lonely, respectively increasing mortality risk by 29 percent and 32 percent.

Call today to learn more about how Home Instead Senior Care could help.

To learn more about your local Home Instead Senior Care office, contact Gary Freeman at 972-576-1100 or go to For more about the Pew research, go to


Each Home Instead Senior Care® franchise office is independently owned and operated.

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