SENIORS AND SOCIAL ISOLATION
WHAT’S THE IMPACT?
Social isolation is a serious concern for our senior’s today. When someone feels loneliness or lacks a sense of belonging it has a negative impact on their overall health and well-being. In fact, the consequences are quite severe as studies show “The impact of social isolation on health and mortality is at least as great as the impact of smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity.” 1
WHY IS THE RISK SO HIGH FOR SENIORS?
There are a number of factors that put someone at risk for social isolation but seniors tend to have more life circumstances that put them at higher risk.
- They may have suffered the loss of their life partner
- Their family may be overwhelmed with their own work/children
- Lack of transportation
- Physical Illness or Disability 2
DEMOGRAPHICS MAKE THIS A GROWING PROBLEM
The senior population is growing rapidly. By 2030 Senior Citizens will make up 23% of the Canadian Population with 9.5 million people over the age of 65. 3 This means almost a quarter of our population will be at risk in less then 10 years. It’s time to start looking at this as a societal issue and not just an individual problem.
WHAT CAN BE DONE
- Utilize community transportation resources
- Find a sense of purpose each day
- Utilize technology to stay connected
- Share a meal with others whenever you can
- Consider a Pet
- Explore local senior’s centre activities
- Explore local retirement home activities
- Seek professional help if necessary
HOW CAN A RETIRMENT HOME LIKE HERITAGE RIVER HELP ISOLATED SENIORS?
Our residents have full autonomy to decide when and how they interact in our community. Not everyone chooses to be involved in the same way.
- Some residents choose to do it all! Groups, activities, programs, classes, coffee with friends, outings and special events- you name it, they are there!
- Others pick and choose a few special things a week to take part in.
- Some are more likely to meet friends for a coffee and a card game in the lounge.
- Then there are some residents who enjoy spending time more independently but look forward to their daily mealtimes to touch base and be part of our great community.
Heritage River is a family of people living together in community and enjoying life. A private suite affords our residents all the privacy they desire but there is a thriving community right outside their door! We do so much more then just meet the physical needs of our residents as we fully understand the importance of a sense of belonging and a community to call home. http://www.heritageriver.ca
- 1 https://resourcecentre.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/5_Social-Isolation-Report-Canadian-Older-Adults-2019.pdf
- (Ferrara, H.(2009) Seniors’ Social Isolation: A Scoping Study. Centre for Social and Community Research, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia)