Even though the social isolation brought about during the COVID pandemic should be in the rearview mirror, many older adults are still suffering from social isolation and loneliness. At Baldwin House Senior Living, we understand the importance of cultivating a culture of connection. Active adults and older adults who live in our communities appreciate our mission of family, friends and happiness, and we know that making those connections is more important than ever.
In a recent NPR interview, results of a report titled “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation” shared that even before the pandemic, close to half of the older adults surveyed in the U.S. said they were experiencing “levels of loneliness.”
The report found that there were physical as well as emotional consequences to being alone. It was found that:
- There was a close to 30% increased risk of heart disease
- A 30% increased risk of stroke
- And a close to 50% increased risk of developing dementia
A sobering statistic from the U.S. Surgeon General noted, “Loneliness and a lack of connection can increase the risk for premature death to levels comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” The active adult professionals at Baldwin House were aware of the detriments to physical health when older adults were isolated, but the “cigarette comparison” was startling.
The Benefits Of Community For Older Adults
Many older adults are living alone and experiencing social isolation, whether they are dealing with the loss of a spouse or they don’t live close to family members. While many communities offer activities at senior centers and through church groups, it may be difficult for an older adult to attend. Lacking motivation and the desire to make new friends at a later stage in life also leads to social isolation and loneliness.
At many of our Baldwin House Senior Living communities, the residents not only have access to maintenance-free living but there is the opportunity to spend time together in communal spaces. Whether it’s walking around the campus, watching movies or even participating in outings, the social connection is crucial to happier, healthier aging.
What can active older adults do to ensure they combat loneliness?
- Get involved in local senior centers
- Call friends or family and plan a get-together
- Use technology, like video chatting, in addition to in-person gatherings.
- Consider moving into an active adult community. A place like Baldwin House Senior Living in Michigan offers to cultivate friendships and connections with other older adults.
The report also found that today’s younger generation – who rely on social media for social interaction – may not be as focused on forming in-person friendships. Those friendships could be critical to aging in a way that helps active, older adults enjoy their golden years to the fullest.
Visit a Baldwin House Senior Living community near you. Baldwin House Senior Living is built upon the strong foundation of guiding families and empowering seniors.
Baldwin House offers families peace of mind and gives active adults and seniors who call Baldwin House home the freedom to live their very best lives. Call us today to schedule a visit. We’d love to meet you or your loved one!