Why Social Isolation Negatively Impacts Seniors’ Health

June 25, 2019
By Alyse Wagner - American House
Life at American House

We all know humans are social creatures. We are biologically wired with a need for connections and interaction with others. 

Yet, as we grow older, many seniors live alone and spend more time alone, making them susceptible to social isolation and loneliness. Today, one in three seniors are lonely. As if that isn’t alarming enough, social isolation amongst seniors is often hard to recognize because it’s not discussed. 

According to Emma M. Seppala, Ph.D., Science Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University and Co-Director of the Yale College Emotional Intelligence Project at Yale University, studies have suggested that social interactions improve physical and mental health. Social connection strengthens our immune system, we recover from disease faster and it may even lengthen our life.  Studies have also shown a lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.  People who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression.

Signs of isolation and loneliness:

Loss of interest in socializing
Changes in weight/appetite
Sleeping too little or too much
Neglecting personal hygiene
Cognitive decline

The good news is, there are many options for seniors to become more social: senior living communities, technology, exercise, pets, clubs, hobbies and more. 

Friendship Suites at senior living communities give residents the opportunity to share an apartment with a friend, while receiving all of the amenities and services a senior community have to offer. This allows individuals to have the comfort of knowing companionship will never be an obstacle they face.  

Benefits of Friendship Suites:

Easier move-in transition
Better cognitive health
Improved quality of life
A sense of security 

American House is proud to offer Friendship Suites at the majority of its locations, and life at American House provides residents the opportunity to meet new friends, engage in fun activities and entertaining events. We offer exercise classes, a variety of social clubs, different technologies (including virtual reality experiences at some locations), various activities and events and we even welcome pets.

Come see why so many seniors call American House home. 

Find the American House near you and schedule your tour today! 

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