How to Prevent Social Isolation
on May 26th, 2017 in Education, Grayson, Grayson Ga. | No Comments
Social isolation is a growing problem across all age groups, but particularly those aged 65 and older. People who experience social isolation often also experience mental health issues. Over the last three decades, people who express feeling lonely has doubled to 40 percent.
Nearly one-third of people over the age of 65 live alone. The number is even greater for those over 85. Close to 50 percent of these senior citizens live without the company of another human being. Those who are in poor health are the most likely to have feelings of loneliness and depression. Research has shown that this extreme loneliness can cause altered immune systems, inflammation, disrupted sleep and higher levels of stress.
Preventing social isolation is something that has not received much research, but it is becoming a better known issue. Ensuring that people do not feel lonely as they age is something that everyone can do. Here are just a few ways that we can help to prevent social isolation among our family members, friends and neighbors.
1. As a Community
Work to ensure that seniors have access to discounted or free bus passes or transportation services. Many older citizens no longer drive, which can lead to social isolation. When a senior has access to transportation, they find it easier to get out of the house and into the community.
2. As a Neighbor
If you have an elderly neighbor, check in at least weekly. Visit your neighbor for a cup of coffee and a bit of conversation. Help them around the house and in the yard. Offer to take them out to lunch or even an afternoon movie. You may be surprised at how welcomed your offer is.
3. As a Family Member
When is the last time you visited your elderly aunt? Your grandfather may be sitting in his favorite chair, just hoping that someone cares enough to stop by. We all get busy and our own lives can get in the way, but staying in contact with elderly loved ones is important. Set aside a time several times a month to pay a visit to your loved one.
4. Assisted Living
In some cases, an assisted living community can not only help to ensure your elderly family member is well cared for physically, but emotionally as well. These communities often have social programs in place for their residents to help encourage interaction with other residents. An assisted living community may be the best option for your loved one.
If you have any questions about the Dogwood Forest assisted living community in Grayson or what we can offer your loved one here in Atlanta, reach out to our team members. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you determine if our caring community has what your family member needs. We are available to provide you with more information and look forward to meeting you.