Posts Tagged ‘senior outings’

Senior Loneliness and Isolation

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Feelings of loneliness and isolation can lead to serious consequences for the health of a growing number of seniors and individuals with chronic illnesses. Social contacts tend to decrease as we age for a variety of reasons. These reasons may include retirement, the death of friends and family, and lack of mobility due to a disability.

We witness first hand, the issue of senior isolation every day. The vast majority of our trips are for seniors and person’s with medical disabilities, who are the core population subject to loneliness and isolation. It’s unfortunate, but many seniors actually look forward to their doctor’s visit and enjoy a chance to escape the monotonous life at home. They get a chance to see the outside world just a little.

All Points Assisted Transportation promotes senior outings with our core clients every chance we can. During the holidays for instance, we offer discounted pricing to seniors for a social outing. Recently we promoted social tours of neighborhood Christmas lights displays.

“It’s so heartwarming to see the faces of seniors as we are able to take them out on a trip, especially when we get to do something they enjoy.” says Melissa P., a recent driver addition to our company. If any of our private clients, or those from nursing homes, or assisted care facilities has a request for a social trip, we are always eager to provide very competitive quotes. Often drivers will donate their own time to promote more social transportation events.

Statistics on Senior Isolation:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 11 million, or 28% of people aged 65 and older, lived alone in 2010. As people get older, their likelihood of living alone only increases. Additionally, more older adults do not have children, reports the AARP, and that means fewer family members to provide company and care, as those adults become seniors.

Referring isolated older adults to senior centers, activity programs, and transportation services can go a long way toward creating valuable connections and reducing isolation. According to reports from the National Council on Aging, reduced isolation can improve a person’s economic security and their ability to live healthy, independent lives.”

Feelings of Loneliness Can Negatively Affect Both Physical and Mental Health

  • Loneliness contributes to cognitive decline and risk of dementia, and loneliness is a major risk factor for depression.
  • Transportation challenges can lead to social isolation. According to the AARP, “life expectancy exceeds safe driving expectancy after age 70 by about six years for men and 10 years for women.” Yet, 41% of seniors do not feel that the transportation support in their community.
  • Lonely people are more likely to engage in unhealthy behavior such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, as well as smoking and excessive use of alcohol.
  • Social isolation in seniors is linked to long-term illness. A 2010 study in Psychology and Aging identified a direct link to increased blood pressure, as well as chronic lung disease and arthritis.
  • Geographical isolation can lead to social isolation. This can prevent seniors from receiving benefits and services that can improve healthy independent lives, reports the National Council on Aging.

Ways to Minimize Isolation and Loneliness:

“We evolved to be a social species”, says Dr. Cacioppo, a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago. “It’s hard-wired into our brains, and when we don’t meet that need, it can have physical and neurological effects.” Simply telling seniors to engage in more social activities may not be enough. Considering our loved ones’ needs as individuals is a valuable first step to figuring out how to prevent or combat isolation.

Actions recommended to combat isolation and loneliness include:

  • Living in a community situation can be an effective barrier to loneliness, and most senior communities specifically promote wellness through diet and exercise programs.
  • Volunteering can reduce social isolation. Seniors have a unique skill set and unique abundance of life experience to contribute to their communities. There are plenty of opportunities tailor-made for seniors interested in volunteering.
  • Take a class, preferably one that stimulates learning, training, and as well as promotes exercise.
  • Learn about social media. Use technology to improve, not replace, direct interactions with others.
  • Physical activity, particularly group exercise programs such as dancing and yoga, can reduces senior isolation and improve overall wellness.
  • Take a field trip, a day excursion, see a friend, or go site seeing!


Please be sensitive to the social needs of an aging or disabled loved one. Feel free to contact All Points Assisted Transportation to inquire about a social trip to see friends and relatives, or to schedule a shopping excursion…or even a trip to the beach! Social outings are our favorite kinds of transports.