“Friends” 1


“Who will visit you when you’re old and cold?”

Not a question you think of asking yourself when you’re young.  Then you probably have lots of Facebook friends, but Facebook friendship can be fickle.  It may not last a long cold winter.

Not a question you may have time for when you’re pre-occupied with a growing up family.  Your focus is on them until they fly the next.    Then they are a more distant family with growing up of their own to do.    Not a question you have time to ask at work when you have lots of colleagues, and many become friends.     At work old and cold is a far away prospect.    But work is the tie that binds and when work is over the ties unravel.

In later life you no longer need to ask the question, experience will answer it for you.

The Office of National Statistics interestingly sheds some light on friendships and links it to well-being.    People with more than 10 close friends were most likely to be content with life.    People with between 2 and 10 friends also have high levels of satisfaction in life.  Only two thirds of those with one friend had a high level of satisfaction.  Unsurprisingly those with no friends were unhappiest, with 25% saying they were completely dissatisfied.

There is a strong relationship between lack of friends, loneliness and ill health.     Loneliness and isolation increases with age as family moves away, as links with work colleagues disappear and in later life as bereavement robs you of lifetime friends.

Technology may help bridge the gap but can it visit you when you’re old and cold?   Is this too bleak an outlook?    Maybe Skype can at least provide a virtual bridge, but the connection has yet to be made for the majority of older people.   I know it is not a substitute for close friends, but we need to become a nation of Skype Hot Spots!!

From that new friendships can be kindled 🙂

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3 Responses to “Friends” 1

  1. Yes ‘SKYPE’ may have a answer or be a solution. Again one has to be internet/web savy? However an email or a correspondence, and an initial connection has to be made.
    I have come through that period of love letters and personal correspondence, with people with whom I have respect and affection for, and I can communicate one instant and then at another instant in time, or period in time reflect in their response.
    With ‘SKYPE’ the requirement for a communication is instant, and both parties or group of similar minded persons must be at their respective terminals (Computers), at the same instant. This for me is a thought,: However it is not as personal as a communication by email, but in its way demanding of my time, and if one is on a one to one basis very personal, and my time and their time in this instance is very precious.
    Alas I need to become more web and IT savy and learn to remember what is a new password and procedure for ‘SKYPE’, and the last thing I wish is lots of ‘SPAM’ on my ‘SKYPE’ address site, from invaders, who may proport to know me?
    To answer You I am a little unsure of ‘SKYPE’: However I salute the idea and embrace the concept.

  2. I see no one has replied! either with interest or ideas? I wonder have one for those deep thinkers and/or technocrats and ennovators out there? or any body else designed or produced a package on the web where one can record a skype message, capture both the verbal and pictorial content, so that it can be replayed at leisure, and retransmitted with a response, for as long as one may wish.

  3. It is very difficult to be absolutely positive concerning being old and grey, and lonely.
    One of the finest assets of living in a retirement village or a similar environment is the feeling of commardary, security and just plain old fashioned neighbourliness, and the feeling of warmth from those of a similar mind set to one.
    Having spoken these kind words, and witnessed them at first hand, I now find myself at a cross roads, somewhat.
    The local councils and the outside residents themselves can see and wish to have the benefits of an over 55’s retirement village, and pressures unseen are now being applied, by all concerned. The local council see the warmth and security of a retirement village as a desirable place to accommodate elderly people over 70’s with dementia problems, and couples who may have a partner with mobility and health and mental problems. Those couples and partners of whom one may be impaired, with mobility and mental and health problems, and are over 70+, may also pose a question or two?
    The founding fathers of the retirement village concept, where luminaries’ and saw the benefits both socially and financially of having the following guide lines for a retirement village concept: viz,
    A mixed age group of 55 and over
    A mixed social group 1/3 leased: 1/3 shared/ 1/3 Social housing
    A Mixed group of mobility and health well being resident’s e.g.
    1/3 on permanent care, at different levels of care. and then from the general 2/3 population of the retirement village an active participation ethos of volunteering to
    1/ Keep one personally active
    2/ Help ones fellow residents, and become interactive in social events such as crafts/meetings/ and evening of cards and various physical activities/ or just running a library and manning the reception desk, plus helping in the shop, cafe/bar and restaurant
    With the current climate and the emphasis on the elderly the local pressure groups and council, see the retirement village as an ideal solution. The concept which was originally envisaged is gradually being lost, not to the residents who signed up to the scheme and idea, but by those outside who see the benefits of such a society, and are unwilling or god willing unable to add to the village community in some form or another, (apart from monies) to actively taking part in the social structure, and ethos of the founding fathers.
    We are being submerged in a sea of red tape, and misguided quick fix solutions. What is required is investment in similar schemes, with the intention of those about to retire 55+ 60+ looking as to what they may wish to put back into society for their own old age and golden years. If we are all selfish and misguided I see concepts of a retirement village becoming a ‘dump’ for the old and infirmed and suffering serious dementia. One needs to grow old with likeminded people and be cared for by a mixed social and not just one particular sect of persons, who besides old age have dementia and immobility in common.
    Think On? One has to work at one for what one may wish for!!! And it is when one is fit and able to do so! Not when one is old and feeble, all though one become feeble as time passes on? It is a fine red line and a delicate balance which has to be attained, by all concerned. (Residents and the authorities and the political classes).

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