Loneliness and social isolation, especially in older adults, can lead to depression, dementia, and other health issues. According to the CDC, older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation because they are more likely to face factors such as living alone, the loss of family and friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss.
It’s vital that you tackle this issue head-on before your loved one decides to age in place. One way to tackle social isolation is to participate in activities you love. Playing cards, joining a book group, and other leisure activities or hobbies can be fun and relaxing and can also reduce social isolation and improve overall wellbeing.
Technology is Connecting Seniors to Family and Friends Like Never Before
How does technology help seniors? Technology offers seniors many opportunities to connect with friends and family through video and chatting tools such as Zoom and FaceTime. Additionally, voice-activated devices such as Amazon’s Alexa or Echo Dot can play games, read the news, start a shopping list, or play your favorite song.
Check out our Technology section for more ideas on how to stay connected with friends and family.
Resources to help you stay connected
Check out these resources that can help you or your loved one stay connected to others:
Area Agency on Aging is a local aging program that provides free services and on a range of assistance for older adults and those who care for them.
AARP’s Connect2Affect is a network of resources that helps anyone who is isolated or lonely build the social connections older adults need to thrive.
Finding joy and delight in everyday life is an important part of aging successfully
Research suggests that being happy and finding joy in life can improve not only your mood but also your health. It may even help you live longer. Partaking in hobbies, seeing friends, and enjoying leisure activities may reduce your stress and help your thinking abilities. Not sure how to seek joy and be happy? One study found that you can find happiness in one of three ways:
- Doing something good for others
- Doing something you are good at
- Doing something good for you