Staying Connected As We Age: Preventing Senior IsolationMarch 23, 2016 | Canyon Creek
Social isolation and loneliness are among the greatest health and safety risks to seniors, especially for those who live alone or are distanced from their family and friends, hometown, or religious group. It's vital that seniors stay connected with their loved ones and community, as this social interaction leads to improved well-being.
Social isolation in the elderly can both cause health issues and be indicative of underlying medical problems. Medical research has proven that loneliness negatively impacts health and healing. Social isolation in old age can lead to:
- Anger or aggressiveness
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Reluctance to leave the home or deviate from routine
- Depression (even if the person did not experience depression in their younger years)
Preventing Social Isolation in Seniors
The best way to prevent loneliness in old age is to get involved in the community and start participating again. But this can be difficult, especially for seniors who are shy or have recently lost a partner or spouse. Studies have shown that volunteering with children or animals, engaging in physical activities like swimming, or light walking and continuing education classes like art, music, and dance are ideal ways to ward off depression and loneliness.
Using Pets to Combat Loneliness
Pet therapy for seniors has become increasingly popular, as it allows seniors to interact with pets (and their owners too) without the responsibility of caring for the animals. Petting a dog is scientifically proven to eliminate stress, reduce depression, and lower blood pressure. Seniors who love animals and no longer have pets of their own may feel a special pride in comforting a shelter animal who may be lonely or afraid. Our residents love that Canyon Creek offers them the unique opportunity to bring their own pets here with them; we strongly believe it makes the transition to senior living easier and brings our seniors immense joy. Take a look at our recent feature about pet therapy at Canyon Creek in addition to a story about our beloved community pet.
Senior Isolation: When to Worry
Social isolation in the elderly may also be indicative of a person who can no longer care for him or herself, and needs help with daily activities like bathing, taking medicine, and eating nutritious meals. Whether your loved one has stopped visiting friends, reduced participation in a cherished hobby, or has stopped leaving the house, it's time to take action to combat loneliness in old age. Senior living communities provide our loved ones with the opportunity to make friends, find new pastimes to enjoy, and to form lasting social bonds.
Social Activities at Canyon Creek
Senior living communities like Canyon Creek allow our loved ones the opportunity to begin a new chapter in life and to regain some of the independence they lost when living alone. Our wide offering of activities promote social interaction and instill confidence and curiosity in our residents. Some of our residents' favorites include our numerous group outings, ice cream socials, exercise classes, opportunities to garden, music events, book clubs, and holiday celebrations. Our full array of amenities includes transportation services, 24-hour staffing on-call doctors, and weekly housekeeping to help our residents feel like they have a new lease on life.
If you're worried that your loved one is experiencing loneliness or are just interested in learning more about our senior living community in Cottonwood Heights, UT, please contact us today to schedule a tour. We would love to meet you!
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