Studies have shown that loneliness as a senior can have the similar impacts of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So, how can we ensure our health when social isolation has been mandated upon us? The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown the world as we know it to turn upside down. Many seniors who are typically active or social have been forced indoors with limited or no contact with friends or loved ones. According to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, social isolation has been linked to a 50% increased risk of dementia, a 29% increased risk of heart disease, and a 32% increased risk of stroke.
A recent article from the New York Times asked the question: What can people do to minimize the risk of being lonely when cut off from direct human contact? Loneliness is the subjective feeling that you’re lacking the social connections you need — the feeling of closeness, trust and affection of genuine friends, loved ones and community.