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Experiences of Loneliness, Social Isolation, & Solitude for Older Adults

During 2020 and 2021, amid a global pandemic, focus has been placed on staying physically distanced and isolated to prevent “the spread.” Families are meeting online; people are purposefully avoiding conversations or gatherings as they stay home more. Recreation or senior centers, churches and synagogues, adult day programs, and health clubs are empty. In senior living or nursing home settings, commonly people are isolated in their rooms. For older adults, many challenges already existed in the areas of social isolation and loneliness prior to COVID-19, and now the pandemic may have worsened the situation. This paper will explore the mounting evidence that loneliness and social isolation are growing problems and lead to major health risks and distress, while also highlighting research on the value of solitude and its impact on positive states of wellbeing for older adults. More specifically, issues that come from experiences of dementia, widowhood and grief, problems that result in residential care or nursing homes, spirituality and faith, and lessons from centenarians will be specifically discussed in their relation to loneliness, isolation, and solitude. 

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Six Questions to Ask Yourself While Isolated

Do you or a loved one spend significant time alone on any given day? Right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are practicing social distancing, self-isolation, or complete quarantine. However, even during other times of the year, you or someone you know may not have a great deal of social interaction with others. For example, you may live alone. You might know someone who lives in a nursing home or who is hospitalized. Perhaps you know an introvert who chooses to be alone more than with others. Or maybe in the winter you or your family members become housebound due to weather.

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15 Creative Ideas To Stay Connected During Social Isolation

How can you and your loved ones stay connected during social distancing and isolation? While the world is figuring out how to live through the COVID-19 pandemic, most people are having to self-distance or isolate. Even when the pandemic ends, sometimes people are isolated (whether by choice, based on where they live, from weather, due to transportation, or otherwise). Here are 15 unique ideas for how to still CONNECT with loved ones, even while being distanced or isolated.

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