Jackpine Elders

The Loneliest Generation: Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone

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    • #10023
      LiberalElite
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,446

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-loneliest-generation-americans-more-than-ever-are-aging-alone-11544541134?mod=djmc_pkt_email_092617&tier_1=22170908&tier_2=dcm&tier_3=22170908&tier_4=0&tier_5=4508749

      Danny Miner, a 66-year-old retired chemical plant supervisor, spends most days alone in his Tooele, Utah, apartment, with “Gunsmoke” reruns to keep him company and a phone that rarely rings.

      Old age wasn’t supposed to feel this lonely. Mr. Miner married five times, each bride bringing the promise of lifelong companionship. Three unions ended in divorce. Two wives died. Now his legs ache and his balance is faulty, and he’s stopped going to church or meeting friends at the Marine Corps League, a group for former Marines. “I get a little depressed from time to time,” he says.

      Baby boomers are aging alone more than any generation in U.S. history, and the resulting loneliness is a looming public health threat. About one in 11 Americans age 50 and older lacks a spouse, partner or living child, census figures and other research show. That amounts to about eight million people in the U.S. without close kin, the main source of companionship in old age, and their share of the population is projected to grow.

      I feel much better since I gave up hope.

      "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace." – John Lennon

    • #10202
      djean111
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,624

      My 71 YO sister lives about 45 minutes away, we talk a lot – except she is a hillbot and I am decidedly not – and my best friend lives in NJ, but we call and email and I go visit her every year or so.  My next door neighbors are friendly, and call to see if I need anything  when they know I have a cold or whatever, and the guy is a hairdresser and cuts my hair for free.  Sometimes I long to live by myself.        Maybe I will live forever!!!!!!!

      • #10972
        glinda
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 804

        I have no family period, (Brother is alienated) I have my pets and a sick husband who I partially caretake. I have no one to help take care of me. Sucks. Scary.

        I hope I can rebuild something soon in the future but not hopeful.

        Animals know more than we do.

    • #12067
      Mr. Mickeys Mom
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 4,298

      This subject has me concerned. I’m the youngest of 3 kids (Sister, brother in the middle and me. I’m 65), and this last year taught me so much about loneliness for different reasons…

      My brother probably died of a broken spirit after his 40 yr marriage ended in divorce. He drank a lot. I tried (and one of his kids, too) to help him, but I believe he was too weak, and sort of like the guy described. He died before age 70. Then, my sister lost her husband. My sister has a much stronger spirit (as I do), but loneliness is loneliness. She is at least able to do much for herself and is financially not hurting. But, I’m in PA and she’s in FL.

      I believe in affirmations, though like most people, I don’t practice them all the time. I suggested that my sister use them. She doesn’t so much want a husband again, or a roomie, but a lover… yes… I asked her to put this wish for herself in a continual thought pattern and use the present tense… “Love comes to me”.

      I am no Wayne Dryer, who used to do lectures on this, but I believe if we just consciously plant the thought in our heads, then it will come to us. Meanwhile, I’m glad there are various ways to talk about it, like discussion boards.

       

      Hell, no... I'm not giving up...

    • #17472
      Awknid
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 87

      A very sad topic.  I’m turning 65 after working from home since I was 50.  I have a wonderful spouse and little kitty but no family of my own & no children.  Never liked to keep friends and I’m paying for it now.  I cannot complain yet, but I worry what would I do if my sweetie died?  And I wonder what others in this situation do?  I don’t belong to a church.

      It seems like we could have a group to check on each other every week.  I know many of my Mothers age group had this sort of thing.  But she stayed in the same town her whole life and knew a lot of people.  We transplants are in a different world.  Anyone else have ideas?

      • #25523
        glinda
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 804

        That is a good idea. I think there should be somewhere that is safe to not get taken advantage of where people like us can go a figure out what to do. I need that sort of network and have on my own been trying to make new friends. I am also your age and with no children. No close family at all. Moved a lot also.

         

        Animals know more than we do.

    • #24050
      99th Monkey
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 204

      Wow, this causes me to thank my lucky stars for my current partner aka “girl friend”.  I had been living alone for 4-5 years in a senior housing apartment when she & I met.  I had already been married and divorced twice, which still — after 6 years together — causes me to pause before marrying a third time; but it definitely “feels” like being married, as we live together and spend most of our free time together.  She’s 20 years younger,  so still works full time, which is great for her so she’s not totally isolated.

      I even feel guilty sometimes for being so happy, if that even makes sense. This article certainly does not help me feel any less guilty, on the contrary.  Honest I am not wanting to gloat or toot my own horn; yet I want to share to encourage others to hang in there and know that miracles (or whatever this is) really do happen, and if it happened to me — trust me — it can happen to anyone.

      • #28365
        LiberalElite
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 1,446

        Response to Glinda:  Maybe we could have a closed “JPR Senior Support” group. I’m definitely in!

        I’m also single with no kids. I did have a couple of friends I could count on for meeting me at the doctor’s office after colonoscopies, etc.  However, they died or now have their own problems and I don’t feel comfortable asking them for help.

        I’m an introvert without a wide circle of friends and 2,000 acquaintances .  My only living relative, my brother, is hundreds of miles away.  I recently had to pay for an escort for cataract surgery.    Besides the cost, and although the online business owner and her escort were very nice and professional, having to utilize such a service took a psychological toll on me.

        I feel much better since I gave up hope.

        "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace." – John Lennon

    • #25525
      GZeusH
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,921

      Being an only child has prepared me for this, and I’m having a great time.  I’m not sad, I’m not concerned, I do what I want when I want, and I don’t feel I’m missing out by not having any boat anchors tying me down. My advice?  Figure out what it is you want to do, and then go do it.

    • #51546
      Iwillnevergiveup
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 534

      WOW, such a grand group!  Sorry I waited this long to join, but now will drop in frequently.  I live in CA, happily divorced and have one married son in NYC and another in rehab.  I do have a fickle daughter-in-law close by with a nutty drama-king husband.  But it’s the 2 grand kids (7 and 5) that spark joy.  I bought a condo 20 years ago, which turned out to be serendipitous since it remains affordable.  I’m a retired teacher, but work part time for the Pasadena USD seeing kids who are out of school for medical reasons.  Belong to a verrrry progressive Episcopal church where many good friends and I can gather socially, so I don’t necessarily feel lonely.  Not as financially secure as married friends, but manage to get by.  A part time job has made all the difference for me – a reason to get up in the morning.

      I think this group will grow.

    • #51557
      Utopian Leftist
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 435

      I’m in this boat: 55, chronically single and no children. Not much hope for gay folks over 50 to find a partner, either, though I doubt I’ll ever completely give up; I’ll keep putting myself out there and making myself available.

      It’s hard to socialize when having panic attacks over financial issues, but I survive on Social Security and I have recently been extremely fortunate to find a home in an LGBT-friendly apartment community, where we have some weekly activities and opportunities to meet other seniors.

       

      "All fascism is a result of a failure of the left to provide a viable alternative." ~ Trotsky

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