October is Emotional Wellness Month. A healthy emotional life can help us age well and even promote longevity. Yet, many seniors’ emotional health is compromised by social isolation and loneliness.
Loss of friends, dispersed family, and limited mobility or income leads to social isolation for many aging adults. Isolation can have a domino effect, causing depression, which in turn can lead to declining physical and mental health. Depression can exacerbate existing medical conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
So what can seniors do to minimize isolation and increase their emotional (and in turn physical) wellbeing? The answer may be taking advantage of modern technology. According to a study published in the Journals of Gerontology, internet use reduces the risk for depression in the elderly by 33 percent.