Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Community Loneliness and Social Change

In at least one community that this blogger is aware of, where the population has steadily declined over the last 20 years, and more people are moving and staying away, there is another sad social consequence for some of those remaining. The average lifespan of men and women is also holding true, where there are more widows than widowers. It gets mentioned how lonely and lifeless times can be in the place, especially for seniors. It's been mentioned, that it is more difficult to find people to help "get things done."

It is sad if a feeling of loneliness was caused, or partly due to a void in the human interaction they were accustomed to. If happiness and a positive reason to live positively affects health, then it is possible that a chronic state of lacking such, negatively affects health as well. It may not just be in terms of decreased contact with others, but also due to more physical demands like snow clearing, or repairs, for example. One wonders how this translates into lifestyle like use of medications, food habits, and a person's spirit, or level of contentment.

This one community may be typical of others in the province where the out-migration, population declines, work demands, use of technology and technical distractions, and social attitudes, has brought social change which affected personal contentment. If anyone else has sensed a similar trend in a community they know of, please feel free to share in a comment.


Anonymous said...

I know out -migration all to well. Some like me had no choice but to leave to find work. I think back 13 years ago nfld was still small in numbers compared to where I live now, I think there are as many people here in this part of Toronto, as there is all of NFLD.

I know the cod fishing moratorium had allot to do with the decline back some 13 or more years ago. People have to do what they feel is best.

I agree with the loneliness and lifeless times of our seniors getting help is sad. I think smaller towns, lack of technology, etc, has it's draw backs. I know I hate when my parents have to travel into tow just to seek medical attention. My dad cannot drive as much as he used to, he is almost 85. Mother never had her license. If family cannot take them , they rely on taxi's and that is an all day part of the night to get home. It sucks. I wish there was someone that could set up somthing back home where they take just people going into town for medical and airport. have a Drop off and pick up site, no in between stops along the way. I think it would benefit many , but mostly I am thinking of the elderly and sick. My home town is small, there are no buses for transportation, and God forbid when the rocks start falling off Paul's hill, the only way out or in is boat.

Human interaction is so important for all especially the seniors. I cannot imagine having them all alone. It will bring them down in health, they give up. I sort of experienced that this weekend. I was so upset, my emoitons got the best of me, it scared me, growing old has its good parts but sad and scared ones as well. if I lived back home I would be one that would be visiting the seniors on a daily basis. Just to chat, have tea, walk or push them just to share a laugh or two, just to make them feel they are not alone. Being alone should be by choice.

charlie said...

Thanks for your thoughts inky. Yes, the reality is that people do have to move away, and seek employment where they can, and something that is best suited to them. The cod moratorium was a huge loss at once, and certainly displaced many, and helped empty out places that depended on that fishery. For many seniors, they compare the vibrant life and activity of communities that were alive with fishing, and related work, to often times inactivity today, certain more quiet, or too quiet. Your final words are most meaningful for seniors - sharing time with them, communicating and connecting with human interaction.