Resources that keep adults less lonely and isolated
Aging Matters

Aging experts and professionals know the harm that isolation and loneliness play on an older adults' health and well-being. The U.S. Census data reports 28% of individuals aged 65 and older lived on their own in 2010. AARP confirms that it's the baby boomer generation is the one with fewer children or none at all. As the group enters the elder years, loneliness and isolation will be a significant concern.

Immobility and lack of transportation add to the necessity for one to keep close to home. If an adult has little access to social activities, they become isolated. A study by Case Western Reserve University shows that Internet adoption bolsters the emotional health of seniors (2013.) The researchers gave 25 residents of a residential care facility a digital tablet and Internet training. After three months of usage, the participants reported a better mood and life satisfaction.

SeniorCare.com explored with aging experts how to remedy the problem. We asked:

List an online resource that helps older adults connect offline to lessen loneliness and depression?

Where to go locally

  • Senior centers - Most cities have that offer a range of activities, exercise classes, and events at reasonable costs. It would be great if organizations like churches and Meals on Wheels could have printed out versions of these monthly calendars hand delivered to seniors who could use this social connection. Margo Rose, Body Aware Grieving.
  • Join a Meetup Group -. The local groups can be a fun way to meet new people, interact with groups who share common interests and there's always some fun activity or event. Meetup has helped many people (young and old) make new friends and alleviate loneliness and depression. Gjenes Belamide, Bay Alarm Medical
  • Your city library - Our Roseville CA library has a senior citizens center with frequent activities. Sign up for the monthly newsletter to catch current events. Most are free. Kaye Swain, SandwichInk

Get active in the community

  • Become a volunteer; check out http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps website and sign up to volunteer. It's one of the better options to remain active, involved in the community and to have feelings of purpose Shannon Martin, Aging Wisely.
  • Foster a grandchild by visiting the http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps/foster-grandparents. Adults share time with younger people. We encourage adults to join groups that help them deal with loneliness and depression. David Mordehi, Advise, and Protect.

Join in the activities

  • The Senior care section on http://assistedliving.about.com/od/SeniorActivities/ that's devoted to activity professionals. Anthony Cirillo, AgingExperience.com.
  • Join the http://www.creativeaging.org/ website for adult involvement. It includes volunteer activities. Tim Murray, Aware Senior Care.

Be a Mentor

  • Mentoring others in technology or helping with homework can build strong ties. Online relationships become dynamic, expanding into conversation or tasks offline. Nancy Ruffner, NavigateNC.

Health-Related Activities

  • Check out the American Diabetes Association website http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/seniors/ for adults living with the disease. It provides education and resources as well as a chat ability, social networking, and links to local groups and activities that engage individuals. Kelly Lee Hardin, MSN, RN, CDE, Telcare
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness--Research from UCLA suggests a short 8-week program of meditation focusing on mindfulness (attention to the present) can reduce feelings of loneliness and might even stoke an anti-inflammatory response in the body. Stephan Forman, LTC Associates.


Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column

Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.

Learn More



More on Lifestyle