The elderly, seniors and the aged are an important part of our communities. Finding a way to give to our seniors and show others how gives you can do for seniors make a significant difference will change your community and neighbourhood culture. Recently, the British government appointed “Minister for Loneliness” for the first time. Social media might have interconnected us, but people still feel lonely. Psychologists say that there is a difference between “aloneness” and “loneliness”; aloneness is the objective physical state of not having anyone around you and loneliness is the subjective emotional state of feeling isolated from other people. The elderly, in particular, may have a chance to feel lonelier. And loneliness may pose health risks for this demographic. In this blog article, we navigate a few gives we can do for seniors.
Studies have shown that seniors engaging in social media have a reduced rate of depression. The point is for our seniors to have younger people to engage with them on social media. A study has shown that seniors who experienced physical pain were less likely to participate in social activities that require face-to-face interactions. However, being in the comforts of their homes, these seniors did engage in the usage of social media and it influenced their cognitive well-being.
Seniors can benefit from having company when doing their grocery shopping. It would be important to ask of their budget, to make a list of foods to buy before going to the grocery store and choosing a grocery store that is in a convenient location from the senior’s residence. Starting from small talk to nutritional guidance that volunteers can offer to seniors would be helpful for their experience.
As people age, they take less risks. Studies have shown that aging decreased the volume of grey matter in the brain and this was related to risk aversion. In business, it is said that there are three types of risk-taking behaviour – risk averse, risk neutral and risk loving. Despite the fact that an individual was risk loving in their early years it is very possible this same person turns into a risk averse person in their older years. This possibility makes volunteer companions beneficial for seniors when they are committing to a new experience. A companion helps make a positive emotional association created between risk taking and interacting.
Older adults sometimes use services and participate in programs in seniors’ homes. They have found that the seniors’ home is a good location to meet up with other seniors to socialize. I recently went to a senior’s home for a little Jewish concert and saw them having a good time. It made me wonder what it would be like for them if they had younger people volunteering and socializing with them.
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We wish to thank Jinyoung Moon for submitting this article to 365give. Jin was born in Seoul, South Korea and has lived in The United States, England and Canada. She went to a Catholic high school then transitioned to major in marketing at the undergraduate business program at Queen’s University. With an interest in corporate philanthropy Jin successfully completed two nonprofit internships related to fundraising. Currently Jin resides in Toronto and is looking forward to volunteering her time in the community!
 2019. “Social Isolation, Loneliness in Older People Pose Health Risks.” National Institute on Aging.
 Jared Wadley. 2018. “Social Media May Help Seniors in Pain Ward Off Depression.” Futurity.
 Ziba Kashef. 2016. “Changing Brain Anatomy May Make Seniors Shun Risk.” Futurity.