Losing a loved one, not to mention a partner, is one of the hardest things we can go through. In the later years of life, loss is understandably more common. So, it is important to learn a range of coping strategies and to hold onto hope during times of grief. A recent report from Seniors Online Victoria, devised a list of helpful interventions aimed at reducing isolation and loneliness in older Australians. ‘Loneliness is a big issue. Our community don’t see it, but it is there. What we do see is the tip of the iceberg,’ revealed a senior citizen in the report.
1. Take advantage of local organisations like sporting clubs and community and hobby groups. Such institutions were identified as having a major role to play in providing opportunities for social connectivity and interaction.
2. Seeking professional support. When coping with the loss of a partner, it is always beneficial to talk with a professional counsellor. If for some reason, you are uncomfortable speaking with someone face-to-face, there are countless organisations that offer confidential calls with a trained mental health professional.
3. Volunteering is also encouraged, as it is a great way to retain a sense of purpose and give back to others. With the report highlighting the power of volunteering in addressing isolation and loneliness, the act can also help replace friendships lost through retirement from work.
Remember to take your time, seek support from your family, and give yourself the space to be happy again – that is all partners want for their significant other.
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
Lifeline – 13 11 14