SRAinformed :: Spring 2018 SRA_monthly_spring2018_singles - Page 5

While the rest of us are living life totally connected ative effects of social isolation. Besides providing a and with instant communication, a large number of sense of purpose, many hobbies and interests are seniors are being left behind. They risk being isolat- inherently social in nature. Anything that involves ed in terms of communication with family, friends a group is socially healthy. If a senior is bereft of and even their doctor. More importantly, the risk of ideas for what to do, there are often planned events depression and related illnesses tend to increase at local senior or community centers. Volunteering with isolation. is also a great way of maintaining and expressing a The good news is that more and more seniors are getting connected every day. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 60 percent of older adults go online regularly and nearly 80 percent have mo- bile phones. But there’s a clear discrepancy when it sense of purpose. Encouraging seniors to remain active in their hobbies and interests, and providing them opportunities to volunteer can help them maintain their sense of purpose and keep them from becoming isolated and lonely. comes to socioeconomic and demographic status: ENCOURAGE RELIGIOUS SENIORS Those most likely to be computer-literate tend TO MAINTAIN ATTENDANCE AT THEIR to be the affluent and well educated. A positive PLACES OF WORSHIP perspective: Most families of seniors today have For seniors who have been regular churchgoers, instant online access and can find viable caregiving this weekly social connection has been shown to solutions for their older loved ones regardless of be quite beneficial. Nicholson’s review observed where they may live. WAYS TO PROMOTE SENIOR CONNECTEDNESS AND SOCIAL HEALTH MAKE TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE Lack of adequate transportation is a primary cause of social isolation. Because many seniors do not drive, this is a big issue for them. Anything that helps seniors get around and make independent choices about travel promotes their social health. Providing a solid public transportation infrastruc- ture and providing special transportation options to seniors and disabled people of all ages helps promote their social integration and independence. PROMOTE SENSE OF PURPOSE Seniors with a sense of purpose or hobbies that interest them are less likely to succumb to the neg- ON THE GO Transportation for older adults and those with no other means of transportation is vital to independence and dignity. More than 44,000 trips were made through Community Coach last year in Indian River County. SENIORRESOURCEASSOCIATION.ORG