A recent study from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) found that loneliness in aging adults can impact their health and wellbeing and be responsible for accelerating seniors’ decline and death. They cite that “people 60-years-old and older who reported feeling lonely saw a 45 percent increase in their risk for death. Isolated elders also had a 59 percent greater risk of mental and physical decline than their more social counterparts.”
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 28 percent of people 65 years and older (11 million at the time of the census) lived alone. In addition to living alone, there are several reasons seniors feel lonesome including losing a spouse. Furthermore, the AARP reports that more and more seniors do not have children, which means fewer family members available to provide companionship and care. As many elderly people stop driving, they may not have a convenient way to get around and this can contribute to more feelings of isolation.
Researchers also discovered that isolated seniors often behave in ways that make others less likely to want to spend time with them. Not only do the seniors resist the efforts of those who want to reach out but actually push them away.
If you have an elderly parent or know someone who is living alone, there are some easy things you can do to make them feel cared about. One way is to really engage them in conversation and ask questions and listen to their stories about the past. Another thing you can do is to help them find a hobby they will enjoy or rekindle an interest in something they used to do. If you live a distance from an elderly parent, call frequently and send greeting cards or small gifts that let them know you are thinking of them.
Senior living communities such as MorningStar at Jordan Creek, provide assisted living and memory care for older adults as well as an ideal place to socialize and form bonds with both residents and staff. We offer seniors a lifestyle that provides all the comforts of a real home. Please visit our website to learn more.
MorningStar at Jordan Creek proudly provides the very best in senior living with our unique mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.” With a foundation built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve, we create a true home for residents amid a beautiful setting. Please schedule a tour to discover the newest community in the West Des Moines area.
Offering a lifestyle of comfort, wellness and community, MorningStar is committed to giving residents a quality of life surpassing that of other senior living communities. To experience firsthand the finest in senior living, contact us to schedule a tour.