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I begin to understand how and why elderly people become isolated, hardly speaking to another human being for days on end, losing touch with friends and family.

Remaining part of the social web of community requires effort. Get up, perform ablutions, get dressed, call somebody, drive somewhere--all seem to be just too much effort when there's an afghan, a good book, a cup of coffee and a cat close at hand.

It's not being anti-social; it's just lack of motivation, I guess, or maybe an unscheduled life responding to amorphous circumstances. And if there's the least bit of physical disability (pain, weakness), then a built-in excuse erases most of what was left of the desire to get up and go.

Could it be (gasp!) laziness?

And yet I love it when I do get out with friends, for lunch or for a movie or just visiting. It's the initialization that's so hard.

Maybe scheduling visits on a calendar, like making appointments, would do the trick. Keeping in touch is important, for personal mental and physical health, and to keep the community whole and well.

Hmmm...N's name is on the calendar for today. Guess I'd better finish getting dressed, cease the ruminations, and head on down in that direction.

I choose to stay in touch. Maybe another cup of coffee first....

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