Life after 60 can be a beautiful new chapter when spent in a healthy atmosphere. Similar to school, college, or work life, social connections have a significant impact on senior living. Friendships in old age can be hugely beneficial for seniors as they boost psychological and emotional well-being. However, older adults are more likely to face situations such as living alone, loss of family or friends, chronic illness, or hearing loss, increasing the risk of loneliness and social isolation.
Health risks of loneliness and social isolation
A report revealed that one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated. Social connections and interactions are vital components of overall well-being in seniors, and the absence of these connections can have an impact on their physical and mental health.
Reclusion can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline among seniors. Loneliness and social isolation have also been linked to a weakened immune system, sleep disruption, cardiovascular problems, and chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis.
According to the report, social isolation was associated with a 50% increased risk of dementia, a 29% higher risk of heart disease, and a 32% higher risk of stroke. Loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. Among heart failure patients, it was associated with nearly 4 times increased risk of death, a 68% higher risk of hospitalization, and a 57% heightened likelihood of emergency hospital visits.
Main reasons behind social isolation in senior citizens
Social isolation in senior citizens is a complex issue that can result from a combination of factors influenced by both individual and societal factors.
● The death of a spouse, family member, or close friend can result in loneliness as they lose their primary sources of companionship and support.
● Physical health problems, chronic illnesses, and limited mobility can cause difficulties that reduce their inclination towards social engagement.
● Sometimes location can be a factor as it limits their access to social gathering and activities.
● Access to transportation can be a factor that hinders their ability to meet friends or attend events as they are dependent on children or family for commuting. Public transportation might not be easily available and health conditions can affect their ability to travel without support.
● Some seniors become more dependent physically and the fear of falling or getting injured makes them cautious about stepping out.
Senior living and improving the overall quality of life
Research carried out on having friends in old age revealed that conversations, companionship, and fun are factors that closely linked to happiness and life satisfaction. Despite family members being the primary source of support, friends are influential in older adults’ well-being, and the study found that positive mood states were associated with the presence of friends.
Some seniors live with aging partners, others with children and family, and some live alone. From busy family members to dependencies, older adults prefer to exclude themselves from social settings for various reasons. But what if there was a better alternative that could elevate the lives of seniors?
Senior living communities give equal importance to the mental and emotional well-being of the elderly and encourage them to make social connections. At Antara, we truly understand and respect the wholesome lives that seniors have lived and want to make the new chapter just as great, if not better.
Our independent living residences for seniors in Dehradun and Noida are thoughtfully designed to promote holistic well-being. Antara Senior Living Communities encourage seniors to stay socially active by creating a space where they can live life on their own terms, in the company of like-minded people.
Antara’s best-in-class retirement homes in India bring together people of similar age groups and interests, making it easier for residents to connect with each another. Residents can join hobby clubs, yoga and exercise sessions, or use amenities like the gym and swimming pool, in the company of their friends, thus making daily activities more enjoyable. Common areas like the Antara Club are designed to encourage residents to gather and interact with their neighbors, and embrace the idea of active aging. Additionally, the staff at our senior living communities also organize a host of activities to keep residents engaged.
As seniors participate in activities like exercising and walking with their friends, it helps improve their physical health and immunity levels. Staying socially active prevents or alleviates symptoms of depression and reduces feelings of loneliness. It also stimulates the brain, lowering the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Spending time in the community and engaging in conversations provides opportunities for laughter, sharing, and emotional support, improving the emotional well-being of seniors.
On the whole, seniors who maintain social connections and engage in activities tend to live longer, healthier lives with an increased sense of purpose and enjoyment. At Antara Senior Living Communities, we offer fully furnished residences with senior-specific design features, and a trained team to ensure our residents lead a joyous, hassle-free life.
To know more about our premium retirement homes in India, click here or call +91 96430 00014.