Combating Isolation and loneliness
As adults age they become more vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness. Friends and family may fall sick, pass away, or move somewhere else. Older people may lose mobility or income, suffer from illness or have to take care of a loved one. For all these reasons, they may lose connections to their friends and larger community.
At India Home, we take the issue of social isolation and loneliness among our South Asian elderly very seriously. Not only is this a growing challenge, but it needs to be addressed for the sake of both the individuals concerned and the wider community. Loneliness and isolation gives rise to health issues that add pressure on health and social care services. Studies have shown that being lonely or isolated can have an impact on blood pressure and mental health. For instance, depression is a common side effect of social isolation.
India Home, by intervening in this issue, takes steps to improve older people’s quality of life.
Successful interventions from India Home
Yoga. Telling jokes. Singing bhajans or religious songs together. Sharing stories of their heroism during the revolution in Bangladesh. Eating festive meals together. Celebrating their own birthdays or that of America on the 4th of July. Taking trips together to museums, or important sights, or to see a show.
For example,we took our seniors to visit Amish Country in Pennsylvania. We also organize inter-generational cruises in the summer where whole families take a trip around Manhattan. Once four generations of a family showed up!
India Home’s services make sure our seniors engage with each other socially as well as with the wider community. Our classes and workshops and various activities that just plain fun, promotes health, improves cognitive functioning and can even help with disease prevention.
India Home is our second home. We eagerly await for Mondays and when we meet, it is joy , fun and learning- Chandrakant Sheth, India Home member