As we reflect on the wonderful relationships that we enjoy throughout life, many may come to mind. Family, neighbours, friends, colleagues, community connections all fill us with special bonds that add health and happiness to our days. It enhances our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
Living a vibrant, engaged life is an essential component of successful aging. This will contribute to an improved quality of life and wellbeing, according to a report published by the Canadian National Seniors Council. How many of those seniors are feeling isolated? Isolation can come about because of loss of spouse, a disability, limited access to transportation, poor health, poverty, shrinking social circles, cognitive impairment, emotional stress and depression, fear and several other factors.
Kingston’s current population is about 175,000 with more than 26% of that being seniors. This is higher than the national average. That means that there are approximately 45,000 people, 65+ living in our city. This is significant.
Isolation is dangerous. According to Andre Picard in his article, All the Lonely People, UC Observer in June 2016, isolation is twice as dangerous as obesity, equally as problematic as diabetes and can increase risk of dementia by a whopping 65%. Wow!
Stay social. As much as you can. It may take some extra effort and energy these days, but you will reap many benefits, as a result. Reach out to a senior with a telephone conversation; or a cup of tea and a chat; an outing to a community event; a ride to the grocery store; caregiver relief; or a surprise care package. The impact of your visit will ripple for many days, maybe even weeks.
Kingsbridge Retirement Community hosts a plethora of social activities. Whether it is laughter yoga, an outing to the theatre, live toe-tapping music, Mardi Gras games, Heart and Stroke fundraiser or a lively word search competition, connection with others is inevitable. The best sort of medicine for the soul.
Kingsbridge Retirement Community will be launching an initiative to help Kingston seniors combat loneliness and isolation. Stay tuned. Watch their website at: www.KingsbridgeRetirement.com
Stay vibrant. Stay connected. Enjoy life!