How Independent Living Communities Can Help With Reducing Social Isolation

Published: January 12, 2022

Many individuals today remain unaware of the public health risks associated with loneliness and social isolation, although the global pandemic did bring these concerns to the forefront for quite a few people. The older population experienced this problem more than other age groups, as it is a concern for this population during normal times. In fact, approximately 25 percent of Americans aged 65 and older fall into the socially isolated category. This doesn’t take into account the countless individuals who are lonely. 

Who Is Most at Risk of Social Isolation and Loneliness?

Individuals who have reached or passed their fiftieth birthday remain most at risk of being socially isolated. Several reasons account for this. Older individuals remain more likely to live alone, as many of their friends and family have passed. Chronic illness keeps many people at home and away from others, as any illness could be life-threatening, and sensory impairments play a role in these conditions. At times, loneliness and social isolation only present for a short period in the person’s life. However, for some individuals, this continues to be an ongoing problem. 

Why Is This Important? 

Men and women must recognize social isolation and loneliness serve as contributing factors when it comes to premature mortality. In fact, this risk equals that seen in individuals who have high blood pressure, smoke, or are obese. Older individuals tend to use the healthcare system more than their younger counterparts, and medical professionals need to watch for signs of social isolation and loneliness, so they can work with the patient and their loved ones to overcome these problems. At times, independent living in a group setting serves as the ideal solution for reducing social isolation. How can this do so? 

Physical Activity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 40 percent of older Americans engage in regular physical activity in their leisure time. Loneliness comes with negative physical and psychological effects. Individuals who remain sedentary due in part to their loneliness and isolation are more at risk of contracting COVID-19 and other transmissible illnesses. They are weak, fragile, and more at risk of a fall and resulting hospitalization when they lack stimulation, engagement, and physical activity. 

Senior living communities encourage residents to get up and move. They offer a range of activities with this goal in mind. Experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Individuals who meet this goal find their body releases endorphins, their mood improves, and their immune system strengthens. To help residents meet this goal, the communities may offer one-on-one therapy for those patients who are at risk of contracting something when around the other residents. They often plan outdoor activities to reduce the risk of transmission of communicable diseases, and they encourage residents to spend time together to combat social isolation.


One reason many seniors become socially isolated revolves around their inability to continue driving. Although some men and women find they can drive until their death, this isn’t the case with all. Senior living communities often offer transportation so seniors can get out and interact without others outside of the community. They plan trips for the group or take them shopping so they can buy necessities and other items. This becomes of great importance, as many seniors living alone don’t have access to public transportation and don’t feel comfortable making use of ride-share options. Moving to a community allows them to get out and about again. 

Health Challenges

Individuals develop more health problems as they age, and their medical conditions may keep them at home and isolated from others. When a senior moves to an independent or assisted living community, they find they can interact with others on a regular basis. If they must remain confined in their apartment due to their medical condition, therapists and other staff members come to visit them. This ensures they get the help they need and have social interactions until they can join with other residents in different activities. 

Face-to-Face Time with Family

When the global pandemic hit, the world changed in countless ways. Men and women started working from home and made use of technology to engage with others. Zoom meetings became a daily occurrence for many people. However, seniors were often confined to their homes to prevent infection with COVID-19. Sadly, many of these men and women lack the skills needed to operate electronic devices that would allow them face-to-face time with loved ones. 

Moving to a senior living community ensures older Americans have help with technology when they need it. A person who hasn’t been able to see their kids and grandkids since the pandemic started for whatever reason will enjoy a FaceTime or Skype phone call with loved ones. They can see the happy, smiling faces of family members and feel comfortable knowing they are okay. Staff members become of great help in setting up these calls and monitoring them to ensure the senior knows how to use the technology. People often underestimate the importance of these interactions, but seniors become more at risk of being lonely and socially isolated when they don’t get this direct contact with others. 

These serve as only a few of the many ways senior communities work with residents to ensure they get human interaction with others. While families would like to be able to spend every moment with their loved ones, this isn’t possible for most people. Families feel comfortable moving their relatives to a community of this type because they know the loved one will have plenty of people to support and help them. This provides the family with much-needed comfort at a time when they need it most. 

About The Residences at Plainview:

Luxury serves as a hallmark for individuals living in one of the 116 apartments found in The Residences at Plainview. This community once served as a Marriott Residences and has since been upgraded to offer residents fully-equipped kitchens, swimming pools, gourmet meals, and more. Every resident benefits from a tailored wellness plan and access to medical practitioners as required.