According to a report by the Pew Research Center (May 2016) roughly 12 million Americans over the age of 65 live alone and most of them are women. While it’s not a fair statement to say that all seniors living by themselves are lonely, a solitary living state can lead to isolation. A number of studies point out that a lack of social interaction may be more detrimental to a senior’s health than over eating and smoking. There are a number of factors that lead to senior loneliness. As we age, those closest to us may pass away. Seniors may also find themselves living in a new environment that moves them away from loved ones. They may even find the idea of making new friends a bit daunting.
Environmental Senior Loneliness Solutions
Senior living communities should focus on creating environments that say ‘welcome’ as a way to combat senior loneliness. Common areas that are comfortable and inviting, activity rooms that lend themselves to small group events like playing cards or just conversation are important spaces. Dining rooms that offer choices in seating – smaller intimate settings, informal café locales as well as the large formal dining rooms. These choices provide options, social outlets, for residents who may otherwise decide to just remain in their room, alone.
Personal Senior Care Solutions
The loss of independence is difficult for seniors and actually may be the hardest thing to lose along with deteriorating health. An animal is a wonderful way to break the monotony, combat senior loneliness, and give a senior a new sense of purpose. Most modern senior living communities are pet-friendly providing space for that friend who delivers unconditional love and companionship. Seniors can also combat loneliness by being more connected, having a caring circle of friends, people who share like interests.
Furniture Solutions for Senior Loneliness
The idea is to offer seniors the opportunity to leave their rooms for something much better outside; the opportunity to socialize and possibly make new friends. By providing beautifully designed senior living spaces filled with comfortable lounge chairs, love seats, sofas and occasional tables, communities do just that. If those rooms also open up to an outdoor space, that’s even better. Who doesn’t like a place to walk and talk in a shaded park like atmosphere with an interesting book, a loving pet or a new acquaintance? Senior loneliness may soon be replaced with contentment.