Loneliness can impact people of any age, but it can be especially debilitating to older adults. Not only can loneliness affect your quality of life, but it can also play a role in your physical health.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) found senior adults who self-reported feelings of loneliness had a 59% higher risk of mental and physical decline – interfering with daily living tasks. Studies also show that loneliness is a huge risk factor for depression.
It is important to look out for these symptoms and alleviate them ahead of time for yourself or your loved one.
What Causes Loneliness?
As we age, it can become more difficult to stay connected. Family members start families of their own, people move away and, if we retire, we may no longer see work colleagues regularly. Even if you have friends and family in the area, issues of mobility, illness, and transportation can make it difficult to get out of the house to see the people you care about.
However, it is possible to have rich, meaningful relationships – we may just need to be a bit more intentional to seek friendship and social connection as we age.
Learn Something New or Explore Your Hobbies
Whether it’s continuing a hobby or starting a brand new one, it’s good to have something to look forward to on a daily basis.
There are lots of ways to get involved at Senior Star communities. You could check out a western movie night, try watercolor painting, or join the dominos club. With so many options, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Bridge the Gap
Connect with your loved ones and younger relatives. Grandchildren, nieces, and nephews can learn a lot by spending time with older family members.
If they live close by, invite them for a game or movie night. At Senior Star communities you have lots of options for hosting. You can invite people to your apartment, reserve a private dining space for you and your visitors or even volunteer to lead an event for your fellow neighbors.
If your family lives further away, try setting up a weekly time to connect. Use a tablet or smartphone to make a video call. Kids who are reluctant to talk on the phone often have an easier time when they can see your face. Try reading short stories or sharing memories from your youth.
Volunteering provides a variety of benefits for seniors, both physical and mental. In addition to promoting physical activity, volunteering keeps your brain active and your heart full of gratitude.
According to the National Institute on Aging, participating in meaningful activities can lower the risk of dementia and physical health problems in seniors. Plus, it will get you out into the community.
Focus On Your Health
One of the greatest problems with isolation and loneliness is that it causes people to ignore their health and well-being. Concentrating on your health can help you to meet other people.
Ask a friend to join you on a walk. Try one of Senior Star’s signature programs such as Laughter Yoga or Zumba Gold®.
Movement gives you the energy you need to stay focused and ready for whatever may come your way in life.
Live in a Positive Community
There are lots of ways to stay active and meet people at Senior Star communities.
Choosing independent living means choosing freedom from the tasks and responsibilities associated with maintaining a home. Residents have the opportunity to take advantage of social outings, easy access to friends, and a caring and supportive network.
Personal lifestyle preferences and routines don’t change. Instead, you have more time to explore your interests and do what you love.
Check out our ebook: 5 Signs of a Stellar Assisted Living Community.
If you have questions about senior living, contact us to learn more.