Fighting Social Isolation as You Age

Blog Category: Lifestyle

Loneliness from social isolation greatly affects older adults. Social isolation is a lack of social interactions or opportunities for connection. This often results from events that grow common as we age, such as becoming more secluded, living far away from family, or experiencing the death of a friend or spouse. Social isolation can lead to health risks such as an increase in dementia, heart disease, depression, anxiety, and premature death. Aging doesn’t have to be a lonely experience, so read on to explore ways to fight social isolation.

Signs of Social Isolation

The senior population is more at risk for isolation because many no longer have a regular routine after retirement or interact with coworkers, employers, and customers. Plus, children grow up and move away to start families, you move away to a more relaxing climate, or the people we’re closest to unfortunately pass away as we get older. Take note if you or someone you love is experiencing:

  • Difficulty performing ordinary tasks
  • Lack of interest or engagement in activities
  • Loss of appetite
  • Withdrawal from social connection in person or over the phone

How to Fight Social Isolation

If you find you are nearing social isolation, here are some ways to combat it:

  • Enjoy your own company, self-reflect, and partake in a routine or hobby
  • Find and continue companionship with others
  • Get a pet to care for and spark conversation with others
  • Go outside to soak up nature, fresh air, vitamin D, and any social interaction you may encounter
  • Join a club or volunteer your time to a cause that’s important to you
  • Speak with a professional

Your healthcare provider may also assess your risk of isolation and loneliness as you age. However, the following are resources that might help you cope with isolation:

The Benefits of Social Living

Community care has expanded to whole-person wellness. This can assist with mental health concerns since joining a community can rapidly impact the access individuals have to their peers. Community companionship not only helps seniors stay mentally sharp and emotionally stable, but it keeps others aware of possible health conditions that may be developing. Within a community, the door is open for better mental wellness treatment.

A senior living community offers many social benefits to its residents:

  • Creative Opportunities: Creativity is great for aging well, can be therapeutic, and allows you to do activities with others.
  • Clubs and Groups: Special interest, vocational, or hobby groups are great ways to exercise many forms of wellness while being social.
  • Dining: Having a restaurant-style dining option allows people to sit with others, mingle, and have that sense of going out even though they’re in the comfort of their community.
  • Events and Entertainment: Attending a program or event, especially when it provides entertainment for everyone to enjoy, is an opportunity to mingle with others who enjoy those themes or performances.
  • Exercise Classes: Staying physically active is great for your mental health as well, and taking exercise classes allows you to meet other people who also enjoy the activity.
  • Spiritual Opportunities: Whether you want more intimate group settings or gathered group services, tapping into your spiritual side to connect with others is a great way to be social.
  • Trips and Outings: There’s no better way to fight your comfort zone than to take up the opportunity to venture out to the city, local stores, restaurants, and special events in the outside community.

Are you flying solo as you find the perfect senior living community? Check out our free ebook, Solo Aging? What to Know About Aging Alone After 65!

At Life Enriching Communities (LEC), we’re committed to ensuring patrons feel well-equipped to plan their future and age how they wish. Explore more resources on senior living or contact us today to learn more about our legacy of services and programs that bring meaning and purpose to every stage of life.