Many people don’t realize how serious of a problem social isolation is for older adults across the United States.
According to a study from the University of California, San Francisco, 43 percent of seniors report experiencing feelings of isolation or loneliness on a regular basis. With more and more people deciding to live at home by themselves, this number is only expected to keep on growing. Although social isolation is an incredibly common problem for older Americans, it’s also one that is rarely talked about and often underestimated. It’s important to take social isolation seriously, but in order to do that, you need to know a thing or two about it. That’s why, in this blog series, the experts at our assisted living have been going over the facts about social isolation. Check out part one of our series to learn about the facts we’ve already covered, and keep reading to learn more.
#4. Technology can both help and hurt social isolation.
Modern technology and social media sites make it possible for us to stay connected like never before. It used to be that in order to communicate with someone, you had to write them a letter and wait for it to be delivered to their house to stay in touch. But now, you can simply send a text message or comment on someone’s Facebook post. However, there is a downside: many people end up substituting these interactions with the real-life, face-to-face interactions they need to stay healthy and happy, which can make them feel even more isolated and lonely. Interacting with friends and family via technology is great, but it is not a substitute for human interaction.
#5. Social isolation can be caused by transportation challenges.
There are many reasons why social isolation can occur. Some of these reasons have to do with the individual’s own choices, like choosing to live at home by themselves, while others may be completely out of their control, like transportation difficulties. According to AARP, the safe driving expectancy age in the United States is 70 years old, and life expectancy of both men and women exceeds that age by at least six years. So what happens when older people are no longer able to safely drive themselves? They rely on public transportation, but unfortunately, it’s not adequate in many places. This may be why transportation challenges are among the top reasons why seniors become so isolated.
Social isolation is common, but it’s not inevitable or unavoidable.
Many older people experience social isolation, but you should know that just because it’s a common problem does not mean that it’s an inevitable or unavoidable one. In fact, there are lots of ways to counteract social isolation, and one of the best is to move to an assisted living or a retirement community.
Here at Serenity Gardens, we are proud to be your go-to assisted living in the Galveston area, and we have a Friendswood and a Dickinson location. We also offer dementia care, which is beyond what most assisted living facilities can offer. If you are interested in learning more about our communities, or taking a tour and seeing them for yourself, please give us a call today!