We hear so much in the news about “social networks” that we may forget how many of our seniors are not very well connected. I don’t mean by that that they aren’t on Facebook or WooHoo (I made the WooHoo one up, though it might be trademarked somewhere 🙂 ), but that they don’t have a circle of family or community, or even neighbors.
There are many studies demonstrating the ill effects of loneliness and social isolation with older adults. This report from the AARP Foundation helps describe the issues (it is a in depth report, but the executive summary says a lot in itself):
We are hoping to explore the use of personal technology consulting, and assistive devices to bring isolated seniors into communities – whether they are local communities (such as where they live) or their family community, or virtual communities where they find like-minded, or different-minded, souls for conversation/discourse.
Would love to hear comments from your experiences with friends or family.