Our article on solo boomers created quite a reaction as we delved into the female segment of the solo boomers. This week we explore the challenges the male boomer population faces when it comes to loneliness which is often ignored as they struggle to make friends, cope and socialize, compared to their female counterparts. Male boomers often want to enjoy friendship and companionship in an exclusively male environment.
Men are often unprepared to deal with the life of boredom and isolation that comes with retiring from active work life. The transition is a self-realization process for boomers as their social network shrinks and health issues surface. Of course, for some men who struggle with socializing, it sometimes boils down to their personality.
American Journal of Men’s Health revealed that men over 65 who are unpartnered and have low socioeconomic status, limited social networks, low levels of participation, and poor mental health are associated with loneliness. The study suggests that proper mental health and discovering purpose in life helps decrease loneliness in men. BoomersPlus has resources in place for both male and female boomers to reignite the spark of their purpose through volunteering, mentoring and employment opportunities. Sign up here and be matched to an opportunity that matches your interest.
Loneliness is considered a health risk for boomers as it can lead to dementia and possibly cut a boomer’s life short. This makes it highly important to create an environment where men can have a safe space to express themselves and find a community. Men usually don’t like to ask for help or express themselves compared to women which makes it harder to point out symptoms of loneliness. Alegre Care compiled a list that points out signs of loneliness in male boomers:
- Too much time spent indoors
- Mobility issues
- Changes in appetite
- Sleep Problems
- No longer talking about friends or acquaintances
We can help boomers in a number of ways to fight loneliness by
- Teaching them to be social media savvy as new technologies emerge.
- Engaging them in conversations and social activities like playing board games, reading out loud and outdoor activities.
- Volunteering, mentoring or work through BoomersPlus, sign up here.
- Finding a place where boomers gather to create an environment of social support. There are different men’s sheds that can be found across Canada, check Men’s Shed for more information.
In order to support boomers to live a fulfilling and healthy second phase of their life, it is important to continue to engage them mentally, emotionally and physically.