Pella Chronicle

June 10, 2011

Ouder en Wijzer (Older & Wiser)

Kathi Gross
The Chronicle

Pella — “Mom, you really need to get out more.”  Have you heard this from your kids lately?  Do you feel a little “shut-in” right now?  Regardless of the reason, being tied down to your house for a long period of time can be very difficult.  Loneliness becomes a reality day after day.  We need each other!  We need to be together.  This may be a good time to consider moving to a retirement community where you can just walk a few feet across the hall to find a friendly neighbor.

Lately, I have been thinking about the isolation experienced by many senior citizens still living in their own homes.  I can remember, as a child, my church had a shut-in ministry.  For various reasons, some of the older folk could not make it to church or out for Wednesday night Prayer Meeting.  So, we had a group of families who would visit them occasionally to provide a meal or just some company.  What a blessing!  As I look around the Independent Living community here at Vriendschap, I’m reminded of the advantages of a retirement community like ours.  Our residents can have lunch or Coffeetime together every day if they want.  We have in-house activities like concerts, Game Nights, birthday parties, bingo, hymn sings, and Worship on Sunday afternoons.  We have a lovely front porch and courtyard where neighbors can sit and visit or read a good book.  Our grounds are mature and beautifully maintained . . . by someone else!  If you desire fellowship, it’s right outside your front door!

Being isolated is not healthy. We need each other.  Period.  God did not design us to be alone. Did you know that if a newborn baby does not have another PERSON to comfort them, feed them, and touch them in the first year of life, they actually can be scarred emotionally and psychologically?  Children who are left alone early in life grow up to be angry and emotionally detached resulting in a hard life and many times those lives are full of pain and difficulty.

As adults, we need each other, too.  Being alone can bring on depression, discouragement, and a feeling of worthlessness.  Being with others, even if it’s just for a visit on the front porch, can make a big difference!  

So, get up and get out.  Push yourself to visit with friends and family.  You’ll feel better if you do.  And anytime you want to come and visit on our front porch at Vriendschap Village, just give me a call and I’ll make the lemonade!