More times than not, if you ask someone, they’ll tell you they’d like to live as long as possible. Sadly, however, there can be some negative consequences to outliving your friends and family members. One dangerous byproduct of aging is loneliness. Approximately 30% of seniors in the United States are now living by themselves. Not everyone relishes their own space and freedom. Many individuals miss the camaraderie they used to enjoy with others.
Extremely negative and possibly dangerous effects can be experienced by older adults suffering from loneliness. Unfortunately, loneliness affects far too many of our loved ones. The negative effects can include emotional, physical, and mental health problems, particularly for those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Dangers of Loneliness
- Compared to their non-lonely peers, those experiencing loneliness in middle age and over are 50% more likely to receive an Alzheimer’s diagnosis if they live alone.
- For seniors with dementia, how many of them do you think no longer participate in formerly enjoyable activities? Answer: 75%.
- Loneliness is experienced by approximately 40% of dementia sufferers age 65 and older.
- Depression and dementia are 64% more likely to occur in older adults who feel lonely.
That seems like a lot of gloom and doom. Fortunately, depression and loneliness associated with dementia development are less likely to happen when older adults stay socially connected. There are many socialization opportunities for adults in their golden years.
How to Avoid Loneliness
- Enroll in Classes
Consider pottery, gardening, painting, dancing, a second language, and more to learn something new and increase socialization.
- Check Out Senior Centers
Have a cup of coffee with a friend, put together some puzzles, play games, or enjoy other recreational activities geared toward older adults.
- Try Daycare for Older Adults
Sometimes referred to as “Senior Day Care”, this is a great way for aging adults to participate in enjoyable activities and connect with others in a safe environment.
- Have Professional Companions
To help some older adults stay connected and possibly help with things they have a hard time managing, much-needed social interaction can also be provided by professional companions.
- Concentrate on Physical Fitness
The release of endorphins (essentially feel-good brain neurotransmitters) is stimulated by regular exercise. While creating a feeling of well-being and peaceful relaxation, these chemicals diminish depression and anxiety. Stay fit with friends by participating in tai chi, signing up for yoga, or joining an exercise class.
- Adopt a Pet
Cats and dogs do a fantastic job of providing unconditional love and 24/7 social interaction. Every day, it’s a great way to get out of the house if you have to walk your dog.
Opportunities for Socialization at Spring Mill
Your loved one can achieve a healthier mind, body, and spirit courtesy of Spring Mills’ Dimensions Health and Fitness Programs, Connections Transportation, Expressions Concierge, Sensations Dining, and Celebrations Activities and Events programs. Our wellness and activities programs encourage residents to get involved in activities that encompass mental, spiritual, psychological, emotional, and physical health.
With so many opportunities for socializing at Spring Mill, your loved ones simply can’t help but be happier and more fulfilled. Contact us if you have any questions or, better yet, schedule a tour.