Amidst the challenges that our elderly loved ones face as they age, perhaps one in particular tends to go unnoticed: loneliness. It is an issue that many of us, regardless of age, face in our lives. In fact, “loneliness has doubled since the 1980s and now over 40% of adults report feeling lonely”, according to Smart Living 360. Although we live in an ever-connected society we are facing issues of disconnection that have powerful consequences.
“Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the former US Surgeon General, in his Harvard Business Review cover story indicates that loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.
One the most powerful predictors of loneliness is living alone. This is particularly threatening for older adults as about 1/3 of Americans over 65 live alone and over 50% of women over 75 live alone.”
Fighting loneliness is one of the main reasons that we put so much emphasis on community and social activity at Avista Senior Living. Our buildings are built to foster social interaction between residents, and our activity directors work hard to provide meaningful events and opportunities for residents to thrive and avoid feeling lonely as they age. One of the best parts of visiting our communities is chatting with our friendly residents and watching as they talk with each other and play games. There is always something going on and someone willing to talk your ear off, and we work hard to create spaces and situations that foster a sense of community. Taking these important steps helps enrich our resident’s lives and gives them more of the tools they need to enjoy their later years.
If you are searching for senior living to help care for a loved one and are worried about how loneliness might affect them, feel free to visit one of our communities or give us a call with any questions you may have.