Tips for Seniors
Social Isolation in Older Adults
Human beings are social creatures. Our connections with others allow us to survive and thrive. Social isolation is a growing, and costly, concern among older adults. One in five seniors in the United States reports feeling lonely, and many of the factors that make older adults more susceptible to social isolation and loneliness are commonly found among seniors receiving mobile meals (Meals on Wheels). For many of our clients, the person delivering their meal is the only person they will see that day. Too often homebound seniors lack even basic human companionship.
The impact of isolation and loneliness on older adults’ health is well documented. Research has linked social isolation and loneliness to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s Disease, and early death.
How can we help combat loneliness in seniors? Some things we can start doing to ensure that isolation doesn’t negatively impact our seniors include:
- Face to face visits as often as possible. A simple conversation can make all the difference!
- When you can’t visit, call or write.
- Participate in hobbies they enjoy. For example; knitting, putting together a puzzle, watching a favorite movie or baking.
Edmond Mobile Meals has established a Friendly Visitor Program to provide companionship and meaningful personal connections to our homebound senior clients who are most at risk of suffering from isolation and loneliness. 25% of EMM clients surveyed said that isolation and loneliness are a top concern for them. With this new Friendly Visitor program, Edmond Mobile Meals will match volunteers with isolated clients and spend a year making frequent visits. Our hope is to reduce feelings of loneliness and support their overall health and well-being.
For more information about the Friendly Visitor Program at Edmond Mobile Meals, contact Cristi Twenter at 405/341-3111, firstname.lastname@example.org.