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Research has linked social isolation to higher risks of physical & mental conditions; Alzheimer's & death are just two of them. Becoming isolated frequently happens “naturally” and there are many ways to combat this issue.
Discussing senior isolation came naturally with my guest, Rebecca Graulich. She's a past guest who started a foundation to cope with senior issues. Recording this episode of the podcast was originally intended to be an update but turned in to much more.
During our conversation, we discussed ways to prevent senior isolation. Some of them are easier than others. Regardless, we need to do what we can. The first prevention is something we all need, a sense of purpose.
Having a sense of purpose makes us less likely to succumb to the negative effects of social isolation. Hobbies are an easy way to have a purpose in our senior years. Volunteering is another method of preventing isolation by giving back.
Having access to transportation is also important. If driving is no longer an option there are many options in addition to relying on family. Public transportation is one option but it's not always convenient. Many communities have volunteer organizations that can drive our loved ones where they need to go. It may take some creativity to solve this issue but it's worth the time it takes.
Caring about someone or something else will always give us purpose. There are many things to keep in mind when considering a pet.
If a pet isn't practical, perhaps volunteering at a shelter or helping a neighbor with their pets is an option. Pet therapy can actually lower blood pressure and stress. Caring for a pet is fun and rewarding for anyone who needs companionship.
More Ways to Avoid the Isolation Danger Zone!
These are just a few ways to avoid the dangers of loneliness. This blog post lists many others.
A Fuzzy Way to Prevent Isolation
Where Else To Find Fading Memories
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