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Social isolation among the senior population is a big problem—one that can have major consequences for the mental and physical health of those who suffer from it.

Unfortunately, maintaining a sense of community and connection is often easier said than done for older adults. Factors like living alone, mobility and health issues, and lack of access to transportation can make social connection for elderly individuals difficult.

However, that doesn't mean that older adults are doomed to loneliness. With the right tools and a little bit of effort, even home-bound seniors can enjoy the benefits of social engagement. If you or a loved one is struggling with isolation, the following ideas are great starting points for increasing your sense of connectedness and community:

  • Participate in social activities for seniors. From cooking classes to hobby clubs to exercise groups, look for opportunities to spend time with others. Start by contacting local senior or community centers and asking if they sponsor any activity groups for older folks. Public bulletin boards (like those at your local library) are also a great place to look.
  • Utilize technology. One of the best things about the digital age we live in is the ability to easily maintain relationships across great distances—without even having to leave your home!
    If technology isn't your strong suit, ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to install an app like Zoom, Skype, or Facetime, and show you how to use it. Alternatively, contact your local senior center or library to ask if they offer classes for older adults.
  • Take advantage of social services for seniors. If you're having trouble finding opportunities for social connection, know that help is available. Ask your doctor or a nearby senior center to connect you with a social worker. Alternatively, check with local nonprofits or community organizations to see if they provide senior support programs.

Spectrum Connect Is Fighting Back Against Isolation

At Spectrum, we have witnessed firsthand the detrimental effects that isolation has had on our senior clients, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Connect, our newest program, was created to address that need. Through Connect, we provide reassurance calls, visits, and deliveries of pet food and supplies.

Spectrum Community Services is committed to improving the quality of life for low-income families, seniors, and individuals in Alameda County. Through financial assistance and other services, our goal is to support community members in building healthy, safe, and independent lives. Contact us to learn more about our services, including Connect, or consider making a donation to support our work. We can't wait to work with you!