Loneliness in seniors can cause emotional and physical distress. Many older adults choose to live at home instead of a senior living community. For these individuals, it’s important to maintain connections with loved ones and other members of the community.
Loneliness Can Make Older Adults Sick
According to the Centers for Disease Control, loneliness can actually contribute to poor health in older adults. It’s difficult to measure the impact of social isolation, but evidence suggests that those age 50 and above face health risks when confronted with social isolation.
Health risks include the following:
- Premature death due to obesity, smoking, and inactivity
- An increased risk of developing dementia
- Higher risk of strokes and heart disease
- Higher incidence of anxiety, depression, and suicide
LGBT Residents Are at a Higher Risk
According to the CDC, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) populations experience a greater frequency of loneliness. This community often faces discrimination and barriers when interacting with heterosexual peers.
Overcoming Loneliness in Seniors
There are several things you can do to counter loneliness and isolation for yourself or your loved one.
Here are some tips for making connections while receiving home health care services or residing in an assisted living community:
- Face-to-face meetings-Many people have gotten used to communicating through FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom. However, personal interaction can make a big difference to older adults isolated at home or living in an assisted living community. Schedule coffee or tea dates with other residents, friends, and family members. You can even schedule lunch dates in our spacious dining room or at a nearby restaurant.
- Group activities-Participating in group activities hits many of the five dimensions of wellness mentioned earlier. You cannot overestimate the importance of socialization to intellectual, emotional, and mental health. Even older adults who enjoy their independence can benefit from participating in group activities.
- Faith-based programs-Local churches and synagogues often have outreach programs for shut-ins and older adults in need of companionship. Choirs, service projects, and group studies are also great ways to socialize. You can also work with staff members to coordinate social activities and projects with local houses of worship.
If you’re trying to provide social interaction for your parent or another older adult, consider starting a book club, poker night, or other organization that would pique their interest.
Benefits of Senior Living Communities
Living in a community of their peers can often help prevent loneliness in seniors. We offer activities, events, clubs, and many other opportunities for residents to get to know one another. Many residents appreciate the open, friendly atmosphere at Wickshire Senior Living communities.
Whether you choose our assisted living, respite, or hospice services, you or your loved one will receive compassionate service from friendly caregivers.