My Diary

Loneliness In The Elderly – Lunch With My Grandma

Loneliness In The Elderly is a paid post on behalf of Welbeing. All opinions are my own.

I’m quite lucky that I have my Grandma’s around still. I think I take it for granted a bit though.

My Grandma is in her late 80’s and though she has her health problems, she’s still one of the strongest people I know.

She lives alone and is very independent but she does struggle at times. A few years back she fell off a ladder and since then her mobility has got worse. She has got a personal Lifeline button in case of emergencies though which puts everyone’s mind at rest.

Loneliness in the elderly - An old photo of a lady sat at a table with a cake in the shape of a bus in front of her, a young child to her left and some men looking on from behind
My Grandma at work on her 60th birthday and yes, that is me at the table

One thing her button doesn’t solve though is loneliness .

Loneliness has reached epidemic levels in the UK across all generations. The rise in social media use has created a rise in social anxiety. We don’t talk to strangers in the street anymore; we awkwardly avoid making eye contact with anyone.

Have you noticed that it’s always the elderly that want to make random conversations? They’re from a different generation. A generation where you knew your neighbours and you spoke to people in town.

My Grandma loves a chat and I do hate the idea that she could be lonely. Life gets in the way so often though and before I know it months will have passed since I last saw her. My Dad takes her shopping every week and she does venture out of the house quite a bit so I know she gets to see people. I do feel bad that I don’t go round enough though.

Loneliness in the elderly - An elderly lady sat at a table talking to a toddler boy.

This said, I decided to take her out for lunch. The toddler and I decided on a local garden centre knowing she’d love to have a wander as well as some food.

The toddler was actually in a good mood for a change! You can read about his perfect week HERE! We headed off in the car to go and pick her up for her afternoon treat.

She was so eager to get out, waiting near the window for us to arrive.

She got in the car and off we went. One bonus of taking the Grandmother out is the blue badge! Space right outside the door of the garden centre: Thank you very much!

It was lovely to be sat in the company of 3 out of 4 generations. The toddler was well behaved and so was my Grandma! She has a habit of swearing quite a lot and had already commented on the fact she would have to watch her language with little man around. But we managed a lovely lunch with no swearing and no tantrums.

Loneliness in the elderly - A small boy in a dark red top and an elderly lady in a cream coat following him.

We sat reminiscing of sleepovers from when I was younger. She was coming out with things I don’t remember happening! Apparently one night, my cousin and I decided we were too old to be sleeping in the same room as our siblings. So went off and set up camp in my Grandma’s conservatory. We moved one of the cat’s beds and a dead mouse fell out. That was the end of our more grown up sleepover.

The stories my Grandma has are amazing at times. She will tell you about growing up in London and her parent’s grocery shop. About being evacuated during the war and then about her travels around the world. I mentioned that little man was learning the Russian Alphabet and she recalled about how she nearly got stuck in Russia as she lost her travel papers! I didn’t even know she’d been to Russia.

The woman is amazing and I love hearing about her life. There’s so much I still don’t know about where she’s been and the things she’s done. But I can also tell people her stories about hitch-hiking in New Zealand (which is illegal) and going rollerskating for her 70th birthday.

Loneliness in the elderly - a close up picture of an elderly lady's face with a statue of a boy in the background

We had a lovely little stroll around the garden centre, looking at the plants and ornaments. I was told when we arrived that I was to stop her from buying cushions but that didn’t stop her from treating us! I came away with a mini cacti and a pot of caramelised onion chutney and little man had a small dragon ornament for the garden. What is it with Grandma’s and treats?

It was just so lovely watching Great-Grandma with Great-Grandson. Leading each other down different isles of plants and chatting away to each other. I remember very little about my great-grandma and the memories I do have are of her in a care home, so not the greatest thing. The main thing I remember was the smell.

I love how independent my Grandma is and how happy our afternoon out had made her. It was lovely to see her smiling when we dropped her home again. She had had enough food to keep her going for the rest of the afternoon and had stretched her legs. She was off for a nap! (It’s surprising how alike toddlers and the elderly actually are!)

Loneliness in the elderly - An elderly lady and toddler boy sat at a table

We drove away knowing we’d made her day. It’s nice to know something so simple can make such a difference. It’s also nice to know she’s safe and sound in her own home and she has that personal alarm button just in case anything was to happen. Safe to say she has been banned from climbing ladders now! We have discussed our next lunch out and apparently she’s treating us.

If you want to look at getting your loved one a Lifeline Pendant then head over to their website to find out more: https://www.welbeing.org.uk/

Or you can find their social media pages at

https://www.facebook.com/welbeingtelecare

https://twitter.com/WEL_Being

Let’s not let the elderly be forgotten about. They are the reason we are here and they have some wonderful stories. We will be them one day and we will appreciate a visit every so often. Or even just a conversation with a total stranger. Let’s not let loneliness win.

Loneliness in the elderly - Loneliness is affecting people of all ages but why?
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3 Comments

  • Mariam

    Aw, what a lovely post. Your grandma sounds like a real trooper, she reminds me of my own. 75 years of age and still working, taking care of the household and listening to my grandpa complain all day, haha.

  • Jennice JePpwell

    My mom is about to be 60 and even though we live in the same house, I’m afraid she’s lonely. You see, she doesn’t have any friends and I’m her only company. Im not complaining about that but there are times when I want to hang out with my own friends and I feel a little guilty because Im leaving her with the children for company. I encourage her to call her best friend of over 50 years and even visit but to no avail. She does enjoy telling my daughter stories of her childhood. They are the same ones she told me and my brothers when we were kids. Im glad your grandma is a priority for you.

    • Carly Bloggs

      Aw bless her. Is there any local groups she could join or classes? It’s sad but people can be lonely even in a house full of people. But then some don’t help themselves either (I can be one of those people). I really hope she can find something to help.

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