Older adults are at increased risk of loneliness and social isolation because they are more likely to live alone, face the loss of family or friends or have chronic illnesses. A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine states 35 percent of adults 45 and older, and 43 percent of adults aged 60 or older report feeling lonely. The same report also explains there is strong evidence to suggest that for older adults, social isolation and loneliness are associated with an increased likelihood of early death, dementia, heart disease and more.
What can you do? Just say ‘Hello’!
It’s easy to get so caught up in our daily lives that we can forget how important staying connected to the older adults in our life is to our well-being as well as theirs. Check out these fun ways to connect with the older adults in your life!
- Connecting through sharing photos and stories: Sharing photos and stories helps build meaningful connections with older adults or others in your life. And it preserves memories for generations to come through storytelling.
- Make a musical connection: Music has the power to evoke memories and create new ones. Sharing music with the older adults in your life can spark connection and appreciation for melodies, new and old.
- Low-tech ways to stay in touch with older friends and family: There are many low-tech ways to stay connected through calls, letters and cards. Oftentimes, the low-tech approach evokes a high-impact connection.
- Want to video chat instead? Check out our How to Video Chat resource for tips on how to connect through FaceTime and other applications.