As song claims, “One is the Loneliest Number” and that can be alarmingly true for many senior citizens who feel isolated in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Feelings of isolation can be a health hazard. Isolation is known to cause depression, which often leads to other health problems. When people age, their social circle, and often their social skills decline. It is that lack of social interaction that causes the feelings of isolation and depression.
Social interaction decreases in the elderly population for a variety of reasons. Social circles and support networks shrink as family members and close friends pass away or move on. Many senior citizens suffer from hearing deficiencies, making it frustrating to carry on conversations. Poor vision or faulty cognitive function can mean they are no longer able to drive. Any of these factors can be a culprit in causing feelings of isolation. The problem is compounded when the older person is moved to a nursing home or assisted living facility where they may feel they have been abandoned.
Social interaction is the key to avoiding the feelings of isolation and the subsequent depression. OurSeniors.org seeks to improve this situation in local facilities. OurSeniors.org provides volunteers to visit isolated seniors. A personal visit and an exchange of conversation is often all it takes to save a senior from isolation and depression. Please help us to help somebody who feels isolated.