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Help seniors fight loneliness

Prevent loneliness among seniorsLoneliness and depression are devastating for anyone, but can be particularly damaging for aging adults, as it takes a heavy toll on their physical health.

Many studies have shown that loneliness among seniors contributes to an onslaught of health problems, including hardened arteries and higher blood pressure, problems with the hypothalamus, and a weakened immune system, compromising the body’s ability to fight infections.

Even more troublesome are the results of a recent study on seniors and loneliness; published in the journal Social Sciences & Medicine, the study of 2,100 older Americans found, “Those who reported the most intense feelings of loneliness were nearly twice as likely to die as those who didn’t.”

World traveler, actor, historian and more visit EPOCH

Amazon Rain Forest PresentationThis week at EPOCH, we will host a wide range of events at our communities that are free and open to the public. Anyone struggling with or concerned about their hearing should stop by for a free screening from Mass. Audiology. Those interested in travel and culture won’t want to miss world traveller Barry Pell’s discussion of South America. Theater aficionados will enjoy actor Stephen Collins program on plays of the 1930s-1950s. We will also host a special presentation on JFK’s short-lived presidency, as well as a special holiday show featuring the Victrola Society chorus and even Santa Claus—bring the kids! We hope you’ll join us for any or all of these events. Find details below.

Social media usage soars among seniors

Seniors on Social MediaIt might surprise you to hear that seniors are the fastest growing demographic using social media. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, only about a sixth of older Americans were using the internet in March 2000, but now, more than 50 percent comfortably navigate the web.

Why are seniors the fastest growing segment of social media users? Two reasons. First, as younger Americans are well-saturated with digital technology, there’s not really room for their usage to expand. Second, as baby boomers enter their golden years, they’re doing so with far more familiarity with technology than previous generations.

Holiday performances at EPOCH

Holiday celebrtationsTis the season to be jolly, and we will welcome several musicians to our communities this week to boost the holiday spirit. Local musician Bill Reidy will perform Christmas and Hanukkah favorites, and students from Berkshire Music School will entertain us with their own holiday program. Singer and comedian Bill Burke will also perform, as will the talented a cappella chorus Harmony Heritage. Please join us for any or all of these free events. Keep reading for details!

Driverless cars promote seniors’ independence

Seniors and DrivingDriving provides us with a stronger sense of independence and self-sufficiency. Unfortunately, with deteriorating eyesight and slower reflexes, many people face giving up their car keys as they age.  

Relinquishing driving privileges is a difficult decision for many seniors, especially those who strongly value self-reliance. Giving up the car keys means they have to rely on others to get to the grocery store, doctors' appointments, dates with friends, and other errands and meetings.  

Within the next few years, there might be a new solution that would allow seniors to reclaim the independence that comes with driving: computer-operated autonomous vehicles. In other words, self-driving cars.