Our minds and bodies can respond to the stress of social isolation and loneliness in many ways:
- There is a significant relationship between social connections and our health.
- Some effects, such as feelings of anxiety and loneliness, are felt almost immediately.
- Other effects, such as heart disease, inflammation, and cognitive decline, may develop over time.
By increasing our connections to others and to those around us, we can help eliminate the effects that social isolation and loneliness can have on our minds and bodies. Whether it is through finding new methods or revisiting old ways of staying connected to others, we can take control of our health and happiness; one connection at a time.
Recognizing Social Isolation in Yourself and Others
To help determine whether you or a loved one is experiencing feelings of loneliness and social isolation, experts recommend using an instrument such as the UCLAA3-Item Loneliness Scale. By answering “hardly ever,” “some of the time” or “often” to the three questions below, we can determine the extent to which friends, family, loved ones, and ourselves are undergoing social isolation and loneliness.
How often do you feel isolated from others?
How often do you feel that you lack companionship?
How often do you feel left out?
If you, a family member, or a friend answered “some of the time” or “often” to any of the questions above, it may be time to seek engagement opportunities in your community.
Fortunately, the Herkimer County Office for the Aging can assist in offering ways to stay connected to others. In addition to this, the office also offers Animatronic Pets as a means of eliminating the effects of Social Isolation and loneliness can have on us. If you or a loved one are interested in obtaining an Animatronic Pet, please do not hesitate to contact us.
For more information contact Herkimer County Office for the Aging/NY Connects at 315-867-1124 or go to our website at www.herkimercounty.org go to departments then Office for the Aging or check us out on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/Herkimer-County-Office-for-the-Aging-2049211391975981.