Senior isolation is a health concern for seniors

Image: Senior isolation is a health concern for seniors

Recent reports show that senior isolation is on the rise.

According to the Government of Canada, 16% of seniors experience social isolation, a state in which a person loses contact or communication with other people, communities or groups. Another 17.3% of seniors reported feeling excluded often or some of the time. Senior isolation is a growing issue and it cannot be ignored.

Who is at risk?

Isolation can vary depending on person to person. Seniors who are most at risk of social isolation often:

  • live alone
  • are aged 80 or older
  • have compromised health status, including having multiple chronic health problems
  • have no children or contact with family
  • lack access to transportation
  • live with a low income
  • experience changing family structures and location of residence (e.g. urban, rural and remote)

Loneliness and its effects on health

Seniors who have regular interactions with their family, friends and social networks are shown to live longer and healthier lives. Conversely a lack of strong relationships increases the risk of premature death by as much as 50%. Loneliness has a myriad of negative effects on health and well-being. This includes a senior experiencing:

  • reduced social skills
  • depression
  • social anxiety
  • loneliness
  • alcoholism
  • higher likelihood of falls
  • increased risk of hospitalization

What can be done about social isolation?

You may have a senior in your life who you feel is at risk of social isolation. Weekends, birthdays and holidays are a great time to check in with seniors. Choose activities to do together such as playing a board game or preparing a meal together.

If you live in Canada, chances are the winter months can further isolate a senior. The snow can be a major deterrent for many seniors to go out and experience human interaction. Read our post about the top activities for seniors to do during the winter months. These activities can help seniors feel connected to their community and social groups.

Our senior companions can help

You may not be able to see your mom or dad, grandma or grandpa as much as you’d like. Fortunately Seniors for Seniors can help. If your loved one is in need of a friendly visitor to play cards with, make a cup of tea or simply sit down and chat with, then our drop-in senior companions are just what you need!

Our companions can drop-in and help with:

  • meal preparations
  • talks and chats
  • reading
  • writing letters
  • taking walks

We can provide the right senior companion, at the right time for your desired activity. To find out more about our drop-in companion services, please visit our drop-in page.

Together we can fight senior isolation and reconnect seniors with their community and loved ones.

Gift certificates

Seniors for Seniors and Spectrum Foot Care now have gift certificates available. Send a gift instantly to your family or friend! You can also purchase gift certificates over the phone. Please have your credit card information available when you call. To purchase your gift certificate or to learn more, please call 1-844-339-8638.