Updated: Feb 15
According to the National Institute of Aging, a part of the United States Dept. of Health and Human services, over 28% of seniors live alone, totaling close to 14 million individuals.
Humans are social creatures who enjoy a wide breadth of benefits from staying well connected. Everything from mental wellbeing to physical health improve when we're connected to others and seniors can particularly benefit.
Recent research has shown distinct correlations between social isolation and higher risks of ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, weaker immune response, anxiety, obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline, and death. Data also shows that individuals who find themselves unexpectedly alone are at an elevated risk, like most seniors did starting in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Because of the pandemic, millions of seniors have found it difficult to maintain social connections due to limitations related to staying connected via technology, transportation, and in person visits. Covid-19 is especially deadly to seniors but the emotional effects the "new normal" is having on them should not be overlooked.
Seniors who were used to daily activities, visitors, and stimulation have now found themselves isolated from the lives they once knew. The increased susceptibility seniors have to Covid-19 have forced private residences and care facilities alike to take drastic measures to keep them safe. But these extraordinary measures leave our seniors without much needed connections, a gap we need to try and fill.
According to Steve Cole, Ph.D. and director of the Social Genomics Core Laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles, people who are lonely have a weakened immune response making it exceedingly more difficult to battle viruses like Covid-19. By taking measures to make seniors feel less lonely, such as signing them up for Cards for Grandma, you are doing your part to not only improve their mental wellbeing but making them physically healthier as well. The cards offer a tangible, timeless item that will keep seniors connected, engaged, and happier, invaluable benefits in current times. We implore you to help us save our seniors and make them healthier, happier, and more connected as we weather the Covid storm.