05 April 2017
Duration: 6.42
Size: 12MB

One of the things that older people often say to me is, as they age, they feel like they’re living in a closet, that it’s like becoming isolated and lonely. But that’s something we can do things about. And many older people have great experiences of making new friends, finding new ways to explore life, thinking about how to build new relationships. It can be one of the really good, positive, protective factors against anxiety and depression.

And just because we’re getting older, there’s no reason to think that we can’t find new friends, that we can’t find new things to do, new ways to be engaged in our community - even new ways of volunteering or contributing to our community in some way.

Ian Cochrane:
Welcome to ‘Seniors Update’ - news and information for the senior members of our community, from Gerard Mansour, Commissioner for Senior Victorians.

Gerard Mansour:
Hello. Today I’d like to talk to you about looking for companionship and friendship, as we age.

One of the things that older people often say to me is, as they age, they feel like they’re living in a closet, that it’s like becoming isolated and lonely. But that’s something we can do things about. And many older people have great experiences of making new friends, finding new ways to explore life, thinking about how to build new relationships. It can be one of the really good, positive, protective factors against anxiety and depression.

And just because we’re getting older, there’s no reason to think that we can’t find new friends, that we can’t find new things to do, new ways to be engaged in our community - even new ways of volunteering or contributing to our community in some way.

And social connections just aren’t about the quantity of relationships, and we all understand that. Quality is so important for our mental wellbeing. But it can also come from finding new friendships. And it’s interesting that, increasingly, older people, just like the rest of our community, find that technology gives us some really good, innovative ways to connect.

I don’t know about you, but a number of my friends have, as older people, used internet dating sites to find new friends, establish new relationships. But of course, things like dating sites bring with them some risks, and we need to be clever and smart about how we use that. And there’s often stories in the paper about people that have given away money, or people that have inadvertently provided bank accounts details.

And so, if we’re going to use something like internet dating sites, just think of our own safety and security. Be alert in our communications. I think one of the simple things is just be alert for some of those over-the-top messages of love, or things that seem unrealistic. But lots of people use internet dating sites now, to find exciting ways of relating and finding new friends. And older people aren’t any different to the rest of our community.

So, as we get older, there can be great opportunities for us to think about friendship and companionship, find new ways and new friends, and think about the different things that we can do to find a fulfilling life. And just because we’re getting older, doesn’t mean that we have to spend time on our own.

And now it’s time for a musical break.

Peggy Lee:
# I fell in love with you the first time I looked into # them there eyes # You’ve got a certain little cute way of flirtin' # with them there eyes # They make me feel so happy # They make me feel so blue # Fallin', no stallin' # Fallin’ in a great big way for you # My heart is jumpin', you sure started somethin' # with them there eyes # You better watch out, little brown eyes, if you're wise # They sparkle, they bubble # They’ll get you in a whole lot of trouble # You're overworkin' 'em # There's danger lurkin' in # them there eyes. #

Peggy Lee:
# I fell in love with you the first time I looked into # them there eyes # You’ve got a certain little cute way of flirtin' # with them there eyes # They make me feel so happy # They make me feel so blue # Fallin', no stallin' # Fallin’ in a great big way for you # My heart is jumpin', you sure started somethin' # with them there eyes # You better watch out, little brown eyes, if you're wise # They sparkle, they bubble # They’ll get you in a whole lot of trouble # You're overworkin' 'em # There's danger lurkin' in them # them there eyes. #

Ian Cochrane:
‘Them There Eyes’, and nice piece of jazz from Peggy Lee in ‘Seniors Update’ today. And to sum up, once again here’s Gerard.

Gerard Mansour:
Today, I’ve had a bit of a talk about the fact that as we get older, we can still find new friends and companions, that just because we get old, doesn’t mean that we have to live in isolation because our communities change, or some of our friends might pass away. And there’s so many older people that share with me wonderful stories about how they find new friends and new companions, join new groups, new activities.

For some people, they’re also able to use internet dating sites. And just like the rest of our population, older people increasingly use internet dating sites. But we’ve got to be clever and think about risks and challenges, be wary of people that ask for money, never give away our bank account details, and of course be alert for things like over-the-top expressions of love, or attempting to progress relationships far, far too quickly.

But having new friendships and relationships is a really positive thing as we move through our senior years.

Ian Cochrane:
Join us next time here on Golden Days Radio, when Gerard Mansour, Commissioner for Senior Victorians, presents ‘Seniors Update’ - news and information for the senior members of our community.

For more information, go to seniorsonline.vic.gov.au. I’m Ian Cochrane, and this has been a Golden Days Radio presentation.