Thrive In Place Blog

11 Shocking Facts About Senior Social Isolation

Senior isolation is a serious issue for people over the age of 65 and their families who want to keep them involved. Here are 11 shocking facts that you may not know about senior isolation and its terrible effects.

1. Senior isolation increases the risk for death. One study surveyed 6,500 men and women aged 52 and older in 2004 and 2005 regarding their social isolation. The researchers monitored mortality rates for participants for more than seven years. They found that mortality rates were higher among socially isolated individuals.

2. Loneliness has a negative effect on physical and mental health, according to a 2009 study, which concluded by saying that staying connected can combat these emotions.

3. Feelings of loneliness increase the risk for cognitive decline and dementia.

4. Social isolation leads to higher rates of elder abuse. One in 10 people over the age of 60 years experience abuse at some time in their life, according to the National Council on Aging, which names social isolation as one of two factors making elders vulnerable to abuse.

5. Socially isolated seniors feel they have a bleak future.

6. Isolation may lead to placement in a nursing home. People who are lonely or have little social contact are one and a half times more likely to be using home care within one year, according to one study.

7. Caregivers of seniors are also at risk for social isolation and its effects. Providing care for a senior is a full-time job, requiring that many caregivers forego social interaction.

8. Feelings of loneliness lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, and smoking. These behaviors often lead to health issues, including unhealthy weight gain and cardiovascular problems.

9. Loss of a spouse is a major risk factor for social isolation. Many older people simply do not wish to carry on after they lose the love of their lives.

10. Geographic and transportation challenges lead to social isolation and loneliness. Geographic, physical and cultural barriers prevent one in six seniors from interacting with their peers in the community, according to the National Council on Aging.

11. Technology can help reduce the serious and debilitating effects of senior social isolation. Advances in technology allow seniors to stay connected with family members and friends at the touch of a button. Companies like IndependaTV™ have integrated these features into a television format that seniors can use to stay connected with their families and the communities to reduce social isolation and its shocking effects.

Learn more here: https://www.independa.com/product-page 

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  • Our guests use the video chat and photo and message sharing features of Independa to stay connected with their families. In fact this week we admitted a guest who has a daughter in Georgia and another in Italy. I spoke with the daughter about how to share photos and messages and to make video calls from her Independa device, and later went to see the guest about how it was going. She said to me “Kelly this video chat is so cool! I don’t care how long I have to be in here now because I can see my daughters!” It’s just amazing to see one of our guests be able to connect with a loved one all the way from Italy!

    Kelly Miles, Director of Rec Therapy
  • You don’t need to keep calling me now to remind me, my TV just told me to take my medication!

    93 Year Old Independa User
  • I love that Dad can get digital photos now. He didn’t want a Facebook account so the only time he would see any photos was when we came over to visit and we’d show him on our iPhone. Now he gets them himself on the TV all the time, and when people come to visit him he proudly shows them his photo album on the TV.

    USA Properties
  • I’ve been using video chat and it has opened up my world – my family who live close by still visit once a week, but now I get to see them every day. I also get to see the rest of the family who live interstate and can’t come to visit. I also video chat with old friends who I haven’t seen for years. It has made such a big difference to my life, I don’t feel isolated anymore. I highly recommend this to other people; it really does change your life.

    USA Properties
  • I live in California, my 80 year-old dad lives in Texas and my 21 year-old daughter lives in Colorado. My daughter spends all her time on social media using her smart phone, whereas my dad spends all his time watching TV, he doesn’t understand social media and doesn’t have a smart phone. Independa is great because not only does it bring us closer despite the geographical distance between us, it bridges the gap between the generations because it uses the technology they are most comfortable with.

    USA Properties
  • We use the video chat feature in the resident’s TV to get the entire circle of care together at once; we will have the nurse and the physical therapist in the room with the resident, and we will then video call their family. That way everyone who is involved in their care gets the same message at the same time and can ask questions while we are present so there is no confusion. One time when we were working with a deaf resident, we were able to arrange for her daughter to sign via video chat and translate what we were saying and the questions her mother had; it made such a huge difference.

    Wellbridge at Brighton
  • My dad was on the Honor Flight to DC today. An amazing trip for a veteran. I was able to meet him at the Korean War Memorial. He is a Korean War veteran. I was able to send pictures of the entire experience to my mom at home throughout the day. Mom was thrilled, and when my dad gets home he has all the pictures from his trip on his TV and can even play a slideshow. Amazing!!! Thank you!

    Kendal At Home
  • Video chat on the TV is great! I was using FaceTime on my iPad to see the grandkids and I thought that was the greatest thing, but seeing them all on the big TV is truly incredible, it’s like they are in the room with me. I love it!

    USA Properties
  • When Lillian broke her hip a week before her Grandson’s wedding, she and the family were broken hearted because they thought she would have to miss this very special day. Thankfully, she had chosen Wellbridge of Brighton for her short-term rehab. “I’m going to my Grandson’s wedding” she proudly told the staff as she received the video call through her TV and was instantly ‘seated’ in the front row for the ceremony!

    Wellbridge of Brighton
  • I travel a lot for work. I used to worry myself sick about not being able to be there if Mom needed me. She says the smartphone I got her is too small, too complicated, and hard to see, but she loves using Independa. Now she can see all her shows and we can video chat so I can make sure she’s taking her medicine. It’s such a relief to check in anytime and know she’s OK.

    Laura P.