Isolation is a growing health epidemic. The AARP Foundation Connect2Affect campaign states that the health risks of prolonged isolation are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
When asked which they would rather give up for a week, 79% of seniors said they would rather give up watching TV than talking with their friends and family.
Social interaction and connections are necessary to lead a happy, healthy life. More than 8 million adults or 1 in 5 adults age 50+ are affected by isolation. The effects of the isolation and loneliness can be even more debilitating if they have any cognitive decline.
Isolation is not caused by a single event; many factors contribute to the feeling of being isolated and alone. It’s even more difficult for seniors who struggle financially or who have memory issues such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Factors that contribute to isolation include:
Lonely seniors are more eager to answer unknown phone calls, and strike up a “friendship” with whoever is on the other end of the line. This makes them especially vulnerable to
scammers and telemarketers. Seniors, who have already been taken advantage of, are almost afraid to answer the phone and therefore become even more isolated and disconnected.
Ways to help seniors stay connected and engaged:
Addressing these issues can open-up a new world to seniors, reducing the feeling of isolation and enriching their lives and the community as well.
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Texas - Dallas, Collin, SE Denton & Rockwall Counties