Social isolation is one of the biggest problems plaguing older populations. This doesn’t come as a surprise as many retirees lose their social resources as they age as well as experience more mobility issues. If you or your loved one is facing this issue, we have a few tips on ways you can prevent social isolation and keep yourselves engaged.
The Effects of Social Isolation
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although it is possible to feel perfectly content when you’re on your own, more than one out of three adults say they feel lonely. Individuals who are socially isolated for extended periods are more likely to not get enough physical activity, have less nutritious diets, and indulge in unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking more frequently, leading to a higher risk of serious health complications as they age. More importantly, losing a sense of connection and community can cause significant emotional pain and change the way one sees the world. If this goes on for a long time, not only will the brain be affected, one’s body will run a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and a reduced immune system, leaving them more vulnerable to infectious diseases and illnesses.
Do You Run The Risk of Being Socially Isolated?
There are instances where people get isolated due to the loss of mobility, worsening hearing or vision, disability, and separation from friends and family. You may also be at a greater risk of loneliness and social isolation if you:
- Live on your own
- Live in a rural, hard-to-access, or unsafe neighborhood
- Have language barriers where you live
- Experience hearing difficulties
- Have cognitive or psychological issues
- Are a caregiver
- Struggle with finances
- Recently experienced a major loss or life change
- Face ethnic, racial, age, or gender discrimination where you live
Staying Connected to Prevent Social Isolation
Luckily, there are plenty of strategies and resources that can help older individuals overcome loneliness. It may also feel comforting that more people experience this than you know, so why not give one or more of these a try and see if they lead to more meaningful interactions in your life?
- Adopt a pet – Firstly, animals can make fantastic companions. Having to walk your four-legged friend on a daily basis can attract more opportunities for social interaction in your neighborhood and with pet shop owners.
- Schedule time to catch up with friends and family. It may feel odd to literally create a schedule to catch up with your loved ones. However, this is a great way of ensuring you don’t go too long without having any social interaction.
- Join interest groups – Everyone has interests or hobbies whether it be gardening, reading, or crocheting. Finding like-minded communities in-person or online can make it easier for you to talk to more people.
Why Choose The Park Oak Grove?
Upon viewing our high-quality programs and amenities unique to The Park Oak Grove in person, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t visited us sooner. Here, you’ll never get bored of the endless opportunities we create for you to maintain a socially and physically active lifestyle according to your preferences.
If you have any inquiries about our range of services, don’t hesitate to contact us today.