For those coping with any amount of loneliness, this time of year can be daunting. Between the holidays and the weather, it can be a risk for seniors who spend a significant amount of time alone.
How Living Alone Impacts Seniors
According to the United States Census Bureau, 28% of people 65 years of age and older live alone. Although living alone does not automatically lead to social isolation, but it can be a contributing factor for sure. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that isolation often leads to lower immune response and increased inflammation in older adults. All these results in physical and mental health impose pressure on the resources of public health and can reduce the quality of life of an individual.
Ways to Combat Senior Loneliness
Finding ways to combat isolation is pivotal to the health and well-being of older adults. The good news is that there are many ways to do this at a personal level, as well as at the community level.
One way to avoid loneliness is having a sense of purpose. Doing activities and volunteering or joining a church choir or other senior groups may build a bond with something greater than yourself, providing the drive to live beyond the basic tasks of everyday life.
It’s important to find a goal at any stage of life, even if you’re not searching for one. When you least expect it, it often happens. The trick is to recognize the fact that if you sit and wait for it, it won’t come to you. You can get a simple request from a friend who looks like nothing more than an afternoon chance to get out of the door.
Whether you are looking for a new passion or just spending time with others, it’s important to get out there. There are many opportunities in the community to spend time with peers who, like you, might be looking to quench their thirst for knowledge, keep healthy or just find a friend. You may find a new hobby or make a connection with new people who enjoy the things you do.
Getting out of the house
The thought of reaching out to others for something may seem daunting and even inconceivable to those who live alone and may not have family or friends to interact with. Many feel that no one can understand until they realize that there may be others in the vicinity who feel the same.
It may start with a simple hello each day, but consider meeting them for coffee or asking the young family down the street to help with your mail a couple of days a week and have them stop by for a chat.
They can also coordinate home-visitation services, telephone reassurance groups, as well as help with small home maintenance projects.
The Victorian Assisted Living and Retirement Community
The Victorian is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact The Victorian today to learn more about our services or tour our community.