Researchers have found increased evidence that links loneliness to physical illness and to functional and cognitive decline. The effects of loneliness on your health can lead to an early decline. Loneliness has become a health issue, particularly among seniors. Studies show that the incidence of loneliness in those over 60 can range to almost 50%.
But there is help out there. Various companies and websites are trying to help with senior loneliness and eradicate it all together. Below is a list of available resources for those who are trying to connect with isolated seniors and for seniors who are reaching out for someone to talk to.
This website has lots of information on loneliness. If you feel lonely, you are not alone, it is normal and happens to most of us. Here you will find links to resources, which include other websites that combat loneliness. You can watch the films, get information about the latest events, learn how to take action in your own community (one of the best ways to offset loneliness), or learn more about how loneliness may be affecting a loved one.
The Silver Line is a UK based helpline for older people. Open 24 hours a day, it is confidential and provides information, advice and friendship to seniors. You can learn how to volunteer with the Silver Line and reach out to those calling in or sign up for the newsletter, keeping you up to date and in touch, a good way to keep loneliness away if you are feeling isolated. The Silver Line can link you to groups and services in your area, they offer regular calls and protect and support older people who have been suffering from abuse or neglect.
ShareMail is trying to end senior isolation by making it easy to mail paper letters to loved ones from Facebook. You send your chat and/or pics to ShareMail and they print and mail them to your loved one. At this time, this is US only but we hope to see ShareMail roll it out internationally.
At Independent Age, you can find advice and information on loneliness and how it affects you or others. Calls or visits can be arranged and there is a toll free line for information or advice. Independent Age also has an option to volunteer for them, another way to help with the loneliness of others or yourself.
More and more websites and resources are popping up to help with health care and social issues such as loneliness. Governments and health services are working together to provide programmes for seniors and others who feel isolated. Besides those listed above, there are others, possibly in your area. Contact your local senior centre to see what resources are available to you.
Please share these resources that we have identified to help senior loneliness and make a difference.