- one in five senior adults will have a conversation with three people or less over a week;
- 225,000 seniors will go through an average week without talking to anyone in person;
- 38% of the elderly admit they feel lonely;
- 12% of senior adults do not leave their home because of loneliness;
- 40% of seniors say they would be more confident if they knew their neighbors; and,
- 54% of older adults say their day would improve overall if they could just have a simple, short conversation with someone.
Several months ago, my mom had a stroke and a subsequent heart valve replacement. In the aftermath of these debilitating events, she is staying in an assisted living facility close by our home. My wife, daughter, and I visit her several times a week, and I’m always struck by how many of her fellow residents seem to have very few visitors. Their only interactions are with their caregivers who – because of their many responsibilities – often do not have a lot of time to simply talk with residents.
Bill and Mary Ellen and Phil and Shirley and Jean and Joan and Richard and Miriam and all their other fellow residents are lonely and starving for any kind of personal interaction.
What an immense opportunity for the servants of Jesus to build friendships with those in emotional need and ultimately, to share the old, old story of Jesus and his love with old, lonely people – not only in the United Kingdom, but throughout the western world where the elderly are often discarded and ignored.