Sometimes, I think that the loneliness the elderly feel is related to the fact that they are no longer working. I don't mean this in the sense of "feeling useful," though that may play into things as well. What I am referring to is the fact that the elderly, since in many cases they are not working, have more time to smell the roses and reflect. And such reflections put them at an unfair advantage over those who are still trying to make ends meet, raise families, mow the lawn and go on vacation now and then.
Who has time to consider spiritual endeavor, for example, when the workaday world is front and center? Spiritual life is important -- sort of -- but the front burners of many lives are sometimes overwhelmed with day-to-day concerns. Who has time for the roses of happiness when the reason anyone gets up in the morning is to work towards being happy? The elderly have time to let the scent fill their noses and reach quite different conclusions. It's not a matter of good or bad or better or worse, it's just the way the cookie crumbles. But sometimes I think the loneliness stems from having learned an entirely new language and the number of people who understand that language is dwindling fast.
Just a half-baked thought.