The global coronavirus pandemic has pushed most of us into our homes, making connecting with others a bit more difficult than it was just a few months ago. For older adults who are living at home, this time can feel especially isolating. Fortunately, technology offers plenty of ways to combat loneliness. You just have to know where to look and what to download.
Dangers of Isolation and Loneliness
Right now, the safest thing for all of us to do is to practice social distancing. Some states are also encouraging residents to shelter in place, leaving their homes only for exercise and essential travel. However, even though it is the safest thing to do, isolation can get lonely awfully fast.
Older adults are especially vulnerable to the dangers of social isolation, even before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived. Research from the National Institute on Aging has demonstrated that socially isolated seniors are at a higher risk for conditions like anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
The good news? Though you may be at home alone or with a partner, you don’t have to be socially isolated. You can continue to connect with your friends and loved ones via phone calls, text messages, video chats, and online games. Here are a few of our favorite online games you can use to play with friends, family, and strangers that will keep your mind sharp.
For many Americans, the transition to retirement offers a chance to imbibe as much information as possible. Yet reading tends to decline as people age. Data from the Pew Research Center found that in 2015, 69 percent of seniors reported having read at least one book in the past year, compared to 80 percent of people ages 18-29 years old. Finding the right book can be a challenge, especially for seniors who have not read in a while. Check out our roundup of the best books for seniors.
Many seniors relish the chance to downsize, embrace minimalism and enjoy a smaller, tidier home in assisted living. Of course, there’s a reason that most of us spend our lives accumulating miscellaneous stuff. Everyone develops emotional attachments to their possessions, and the way you choose to decorate your home and adorn your furniture is a reflection of who you are, what you enjoy, and even what you believe. You don’t have to abandon these personal touches when you transition to assisted living. Here are some great ideas for making your new space uniquely yours.
What does your ideal retirement look like? A chance to reflect on the life you’ve built? New adventures? Mastering new skills? Or perhaps you’re hoping for a little romance. Whether it’s your first shot at love or your 50th, a blossoming romance in your senior years can be uniquely sweet. You’ll have more time to spend with your beloved, and can benefit from a lifetime of romantic wins and losses. For seniors who want a life partner or just a chance to date, senior living communities offer plenty of chances to find someone.