COMMUNITY RESOURCES FOR OLDER ADULTS WHO ARE EXPERIENCING LONELINESS AND/OR SOCIAL ISOLATION
According to Senior Living correspondent Kim Morgan, loneliness is now considered a legitimate health risk for older adults (Morgan, 2012). In her chron.com article, she states that it “puts them at high risk for developing health problems including depression, infection, stress and cognitive decline.” The Department of Health and Human Services reported that approximately 30 percent of senior citizens live alone, and that the majority are women (Morgan, 2012). Although it is easy to attribute several mental and physical health problems to the natural decline of aging, it may not be necessarily true. It may be a direct result of social isolation or a feeling of loneliness. For most people, wanting to live independently isn't the same as wanting to be left alone. Socialization is almost as basic a need as food, water and shelter, since it provides nourishment for the soul. Community resources such as support groups and senior care services provide education, leisure classes, hobbies, activities and a wide variety of life-enhancing opportunities. Studies have shown that staying active mentally and physically not only ensures longevity, but also enhances the quality of life. CLIENT PROFILE
The enclosed community resources information is targeted to address the requirements of adults aged 65 years and up, who are not currently undergoing treatment or have not been diagnosed with moderate to severe mental and/or physical disabilities including chronic illness that renders the client partially or completely immobile.
GROUP PROGRAM INFORMATION
Several agencies that offer group support programs do so on an “as-needed” basis. Hence for programs such as the Harris County Senior Adult Program and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, there was insufficient information with regards to frequency and duration of group meetings. These meetings are arranged through outside agencies such as community centers who invite experts in certain fields related to senior living to present classes, seminars and/or workshops. Contacting The Friendship Center was difficult as the telephone numbers appear to be mostly operated as an automated answering service. However through various menu options, a “live” person was contacted to obtain the requisite information. The Bell Tech Enterprises company seemed hesitant to give out too much information. The operator appeared to be unaware of the services that were listed on their website. However, Sherry (did not give her last name) confirmed the information on the website and urged me to please visit their organization personally in order to gain further information.
Morgan, K. (2012). Loneliness now considered a legitimate health risk [Article]. Retrieved from http://www.chron.com/senior_living/article/loneliness- now-considered-a-legitimate-health-risk-3881129.php www.thefriendshipcenter.com