Daily Phone Calls to Seniors—Why Little Things Mean the World …

There’s No App for Social Interaction

daily phone calls to seniors help ward off depression, feelings of isolation and even early death.

From sensors in the home that track movement to wearable GPS devices that are making silver alerts a thing of the past, smart technology has raised the bar on senior safety.

Universal Design principles adopted by architects, and specialization in Access Remodeling for the elderly by tradespeople have made it easier than ever to live where we are, without sacrificing a thing.

Social Media has opened up pathways for communication to our generation that our own parents and grandparents would have regarded as science fiction.

We are safe. We are living comfortably at home. We are connected …

And without human contact we still feel desperately alone, depressed and isolated.

Memories of the Way We Were

From the day we started Care for You in 1996 we offered daily phone calls to our clients—usually just a check in to say hi and remind the person on the other end of the line to take their medications. It was a popular service then, and it still is.

But as of late we’ve realized that the nature of the calls has changed over the years … Slowly but surely the conversations have become longer, more in depth and personal—even as the job of reminding clients to take their meds has been overtaken, in large part, by banners, badges and alerts on smartphones.

There’s something of John Henry in all of this (without the tragic ending, of course)—that even though technology can do the job and do it well, nothing will ever replace the warmth of another person’s voice.

We may love our tablets, but we’d still prefer to have coffee with the neighbor.

Pick up the phone. But instead of scrolling, call someone you love.

Daily phone calls to seniors might make a greater and more positive difference than you ever suspected—in your life and theirs.

At Your Voice Command (or the Touch of a Button if You’re Still Doing it that Way)

The not-so-fun facts are that as we age we are more likely to spend more time alone due to various factors—the deaths of spouses, family and friends, retirement and lack of mobility among them …

While being alone doesn’t necessarily equal being lonely or feeling isolated, it is certainly a strong factor. And when we feel isolated our health and well being are placed at significantly higher risk than our peers who socialize regularly.

“Health risks associated with social isolation have been compared in magnitude to the well-known dangers of smoking cigarettes and obesity,” according to data collected by the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, and used in this 2009 study.

Those living in isolation—even perceived isolation—may suffer from a whole host of mental and physical ailments including cognitive decline, depression and long-term sickness. They are more vulnerable to elder abuse and even increased mortality rates.

The good news is that by reaching out to the people we love we can reverse these negative health trends.

By scheduling time to socialize—going on a walk, having lunch together, or even making frequent phone calls just to talk—we can create an environment for our elders that is conducive to wellness, to joi de vive, in which such threats to our happiness can never find a place to flourish.

 

To your healthiest, most connected self,

Care for You

 

P.S. If you or a loved one could use some help getting out more, call us in greater Washington, DC at 301-650-4169, or contact us here to discuss your options—there are many.

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