The Impact of Social Isolation & Tips to Reduce the Risk
Statistics Canada reports that 80% of Canadian seniors engage in one or more social activities on a monthly basis. At first glance, that statistic seems encouraging. However, that leaves one-fifth of seniors not participating, and of those that do, many only partake in a social activity once a month. And that is simply not enough.
As we age social contacts tend to decrease due to retirement, moving (downsizing), lack of mobility, and the death of friends and family. And this decrease in social interactions can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation which can be seriously detrimental to a person’s health.
Research has found the following correlations between loneliness and overall wellbeing:
- A study in Psychology and Aging found a direct correlation between loneliness in older adults and increases in systolic blood pressure over a 4-year period.
- Another study found that seniors who are socially isolated are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours including poor eating habits, lack of physical activity, and smoking.
- Studies have found that illnesses and conditions including chronic lung disease, arthritis, impaired mobility and depression are often associated with social isolation.
What can be done to increase socialization amongst seniors?
Things such as taking a class, volunteering and physical activity can all ease feelings of loneliness and get those 50 plus out in their communities more.
Technology is another key aspect, however, online relationships shouldn’t negate the need for face-to-face interactions. This is where Amintro can help.
A social community designed for those 50 plus looking to make new friends and increase their social circles, Amintro lets you connect with confidence online and then head out in the community to get the face-to-face interaction you need.
We are not a dating site! What we provide is a safe environment for mature adults to build a private online profile that reflects who they are as a friend, and what they consider important characteristics in friends, based on personal experience, likes and dislikes.
By Christine Tompa