Isolation negatively affects individuals, especially seniors. However, solving the problem is more than just companionship; it’s about recognizing and taking advantage of opportunities to be socially connected—and making the best use of those opportunities.
According to the AARP Foundation’s Connect2Affect Tools to Overcome Social Isolation, the issue of social isolation has reached epidemic proportions. The health risk of prolonged isolation has been equated to the dangers of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
Connecting with good friends and pleasant acquaintances is a different story. In fact, the National Institute on Aging’s Participating in Activities You Enjoy as You Age states older adults who have an active lifestyle:
Some families are spread out across the nation, or the world, making in-person gatherings impossible. There are also seniors who may be isolated because they have lost their family members and friends over the years. In these cases, it’s important to remember all the other ways to stay socially connected and make new connections including:
Staying socially connected can result in disease prevention, lower rates of anxiety, stronger immune system, improved cognitive function and more. A senior living community can be an ideal environment for making friends, feeling engaged and staying connected with the community at large. For example, our daily activities, lifelong learning classes and award-winning wellness program, Flourish, promote active aging.
Learn more about senior living in our free Senior Living Options Guide.