Get Social: Study Finds Living at Home Alone Limits Social Opportunities

According to an article published in The New York Times late last year, titled “Loneliness Can be Deadly for Elders; Friends Are the Antidote,” social isolation and loneliness can take a serious psychological and physical toll on older people. For example, people who are lonely have a higher risk of depression and cognitive decline, as well as cardiovascular disease, difficulty with activities of daily living, and engaging in unhealthy activities.

The article also notes that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost a quarter of men and nearly 46 percent of women over age 75 live alone. Although living alone doesn’t necessarily lead to loneliness, it often limits opportunities to stay engaged.

At Village at Proprietors Green, residents have ample opportunity to socialize. Here, residents stay in touch with old friends and forge new relationships. The community is filled with prospective new friends with whom to share a meal, see a movie, take an exercise class, listen to an author’s talk, enjoy a concert, or take a day trip. The opportunities are endless.

What better way to fend off feelings of loneliness than by engaging in activities you enjoy and being open to building new friendships? Residents whose immediate family members are far away use technology to stay in touch via Skype and FaceTime. Many come to see staff as their “family,” too.

Expanding your circle of friends, staying in touch with the buddies you have, and being socially engaged not only make life more interesting and fun, but also are important to keeping loneliness at bay.