While many people may expect health woes to be the focus of senior struggles, feelings of isolation and loneliness can be one of the main causes of stress in elderly adults. In fact, social isolation and loneliness can lead to higher mortality rates among adults over age 52, according to a study conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To prevent social isolation from decreasing your quality of life, here are three ways to help you stay connected and active.
Keep Up with Technology
Don’t let the latest technology improvements pass you by. Stay committed to keeping up with the times and learn how to use all of the latest devices and gadgets. Not only will you get to enjoy the benefits that the actual technology can offer, you will also get to enjoy the brain benefits of learning new things constantly. Learning boosts brain health thanks to the constant flow of new connections being made.
So get yourself that new iPad and spend an afternoon at the Genius Bar learning how to use it. By using the latest technology, it will also be even easier for you to keep in touch with your children and grandchildren thanks to video calling on FaceTime and texting via iMessage.
Technology can also offer you and your family some extra peace of mind, especially if they are concerned about you living alone. With a medical alert system like Lively Mobile, you’ll be able to contact help in the event of an emergency. This ultralight, waterproof medical alert device is easy to use and even has a fall detection system so that it can call for help, even if you cannot.
Get Out of the House
You don’t have to drive to get out of the house and maintain a sense of connection. Seniors around the U.S. are now taking advantage of the rideshare trend in growing numbers. Senior citizens have become an emerging market that Uber and Lyft are targeting. Both companies have even taken on partnerships with other companies, like grandPad, to make ordering a ride accessible without a smartphone.
While many elderly people who have retired their driver’s license rely on family and friends to get around, rideshare services help preserve your independence so you don’t have to feel bad about inconveniencing anyone. In most cases, it is much more affordable than taking a taxi and there is the added benefit of getting to enjoy the company of friendly drivers.
Stay Spry with Exercise
You don’t need to do anything too strenuous; you can enjoy ample health benefits from a daily walk around the block. Regular exercise can help you maintain your mobility for much longer than sedentary habits, which over time cause muscles to atrophy and decrease your overall strength. Whether you take an exercise class at your local senior center or a morning stroll through the neighborhood, exercise also provides an opportunity for you to socialize and enjoy meaningful connections on a daily basis.
Above all, by staying present and determined, it can be easy to thwart isolation and feel connected to your friends and loved ones. Stay focused on your own self improvement and you can reach new heights, no matter what your age.
Photograph by Garry Knight