Young, old or in the middle, most of us humans aren’t meant to live in isolation. It starts before we are even born. Our little embryo selves respond to our mother’s voice even in the womb. Babies who are born and who don’t get regular care and aren’t held or loved do not thrive. It’s no different for an 80 year old. Seniors who have become isolated begin to fail. It’s important to stay connected, to have interaction and to feel cared for no matter what our age.
This was originally posted in Wellness a couple of years ago, but it’s still relevant today:
“Once our circle of friends starts shrinking — due to death, relocation, or illness — it becomes progressively harder to fill those vacancies in our lives. That’s where group participation comes in. “The sense of belonging that social group connections provide helps sustain a meaningful and healthy life,” states University of Queensland lead researcher, Niklas Steffans.
“Social planning may be as important as financial and medical planning to health and well-being in retirement,” Steffans said. “If you don’t belong to any group, join one. If you belong to only one or two groups, you might want to think about how to make the most of these and what other groups you may want to join.” The more groups a person belongs to in early retirement, the lower their risk of premature death, the researchers found.”
Eric J. Hall on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ericjhall2
At Coastal Concierge we see, everyday, how isolation affects people. And once we begin to work with, and assist these same people, how different their lives become once they are interacting with people and feeling stronger. We advocate for people to be able to age in place, but when they can no longer stay socially connected because of physical limitations, then it could be time to move in to a place where they are part of a community.
Most of all, don’t get so busy that you forget to check on your loved ones. Call, go by and take them out to lunch, bring a meal or a treat and pay attention. We are all going to be in their shoes one day.