One in three people above the age of 65 lives alone. Nearly half of those older than 85 live alone.
Senior adults most often live by themselves because of life changes, but the basic need for human interaction remains. Be it a phone call, outing, or game night, senior adults, like the rest of us, are desperate for anything to remind them that they are seen, heard and wanted. They don’t want to be lonely.
In fact, new research featured in a recent New York Times article suggests that loneliness surpasses obesity as a leading predictor of premature death. According to the article, loneliness is more of a public health problem than it is an individual psychological concern.
"The profound effects of loneliness on health and independence are a critical public health problem,” said Dr. Carla M. Perissinoto, a geriatrician at the University of California, San Francisco. “It is no longer medically or ethically acceptable to ignore older adults who feel lonely and marginalized."
Considering this and other research, Buckner Retirement Services is very intentional in calling our senior living communities “communities.” These places are not facilities, nursing homes or convalescent hospitals. They’re vibrant communities filled with senior adults pursuing their passions while building relationships with one another. Here, living doesn’t stop in retirement. It gets better, and largely because of community.
Community is where you find purpose and enjoyment in life’s simple pleasures. It’s where you’re never alone, no matter how circumstances change. Community is where you’re loved.
You can read the full New York Times article to learn more about how isolation affects senior adults here. To find out how you can get involved with your local senior living community and make a difference in a senior adult’s life today, click here.