Sunday 23 September 2018

Mary Kenny: Lonely? Go solo!

Older people shouldn't be nervous about attending events alone

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Loneliness in older life is a perennial problem; anyone who writes a problem page will tell you that. It's one of the reasons why many people don't like having to retire: it's not just that they lose contact with the daily life of work but because they feel less connected with what's going on. Maybe they feel less needed.

There's a poignant moment in the Jack Lemmon movie About Schmidt, where his colleagues, bidding him farewell on his retirement, encourage him to pop by and see them any time. But they don't really mean it. When you're gone, you're gone.

On the brighter side, many older people make new lives for themselves, do a senior 'gap year' in travel, enrol in college courses for which there never was time or opportunity when they were young.

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