Although no one likes to feel left out, seniors who suffer from social isolation are likely to be struck by more than loneliness. Many will face serious health consequences from a lack of engagement, and social isolation has even been associated with increased mortality.
Everyone loses when seniors live in isolation.
Older adults suffer loneliness, depression, declining health, when they are denied ordinary social ties. he community suffers too, when the accumulated wisdom of decades is kept locked away, rather than being passed along to the next generation.
While it may be a surprise to some outside of the senior care industry (and even a few inside), seniors are incorporating technology and social media into their lifestyles. Some seniors hit the internet to keep up with their family members on social media, some older adults keep up with their fitness using yoga YouTube videos, and others are using the internet to check with with medical specialists via video conference. No matter the reason, one thing is clear – seniors are interested in technology and senior social media opportunities.
For seniors, independence is a crucial element in health and wellness. One study found that 94 percent of retirees say independence is a major source of satisfaction. The ability to manage independently helps improve mood, while simultaneously stimulating ongoing physical well-being.
Isolation is not a new issue when it comes to senior care. Unfortunately, reasons that vary from loss to mobility can lead more seniors to seek solace alone than with a group of peers. This isolation can quickly lead to depression, and other serious issues like a continued lack of mobility or memory issues. However, while isolation and depression are not new senior issues, there are plenty of advances being made in the technological realm that are quite new. New approaches to giving seniors a feeling of connectedness and engagement are now just a click, or a “like”, away. This new senior social media is a wise tool to add to your toolbox for combatting depression.
Just as mobile phones have becomes indispensible, apps have become a way of life. There are maps and games and restaurant guides, music players and banking tools. For practically every function one can imagine, there is in fact “an app for that.”
The world of social media isn’t just for the millennial generation any more. In fact, Facebook activity shows that the largest demographic for new accounts is those over the age of 60. The Boomers are stepping out of their comfort zones and heading into social media space to keep up with friends, family, and current events. Senior social media is a growing space where senior living communities are sometimes hesitant to join.
The price of social isolation among seniors has been well documented. Loneliness, depression, declining health: All these can come as a direct result of seclusion. Engagement can have the opposite effect. Seniors who remain connected to family, friends and community are likely to be healthier and happier over time.
There’s an image in the back of our minds, put there by TV and movies and messaging across society. There’s an older woman, hands folded neatly in her lap. She sits in a chair or rocks slowly, staring out the window at life passing by in the street.
When it comes to generating profits in senior housing, some things are obvious. Manage food service closely and you’ll surely drive down costs. Schedule carefully to keep staffing levels appropriate.
Some choices are less obvious, though. Many operators many not realize, for instance, that social engagement among residents connects directly to one’s ability to turn a profit. While most recognize the need for residents to be socially engaged, the imperative to keep seniors connected to friends and loved ones, they may not see this as a business imperative. Continue reading “What Socially Engaged Residents Mean for Your Senior Living Profits”