As we age, the likelihood of living alone increases. If you have children, they are most likely grown up and have moved out of your home. You may be divorced or widowed. No matter why you live alone, it is important to remain socially engaged to reduce isolation and loneliness.
If you are living alone and concerned about social isolation, an affordable assisted living community may be right for you. Many senior living communities host social activities to help older residents remain active and engaged with their peers. Consider some of these risks of senior isolation and loneliness to help you decide whether to seek assisted living.
Not everyone who lives alone is necessarily lonely or socially isolated. However, living alone is a predisposing factor to those feelings. According to British researchers, senior citizens who are lonely or socially isolated may have an increased risk of early death, with lack of social contact more of a risk factor than loneliness.
According to a 2009 study using information from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, people who are isolated and lonely are more likely to have poor mental and/or physical health. Depression is commonly reported among older adults who are lonely. According a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, illnesses, such as arthritis, high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, dementia and impaired mobility, are associated with social isolation. Moving to an assisted living community can help older folks with both their mental and physical ailments.
Older people who live alone are more likely to experience elder abuse, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. Researchers say this could be because many scammers and abusers attempt to target isolated elderly people because their abuse is less likely to be discovered. Many times elder neglect, abuse and exploitation goes unreported, especially among those who live alone because they may not have anyone to confide in. At senior living communities, residents are encouraged to maintain connections with each other, which can help ensure their safety.
Seniors who are socially isolated tend to express pessimism when discussing the future. They often predict their quality of life will worsen over the next five to 10 years. They are concerned about aging in place and worry about needing assistance from community programs as they age.
Elderly people who feeling lonely and socially isolated more commonly need home care and enter nursing homes, compared to their more socially active peers. However, the positive to needing home care or a nursing home is receiving the companionship and social support they lacked at home.
If you are looking for affordable assisted living, contact us. Our assisted living facility offers life-enrichment activities, socials and exercise programs to help keep you socially engaged and active.