When we talk about making every transition easier, we assist with the physical and emotional components of a move or relocation. But there may be an even more important and too often-overlooked facet of a transition, and that is the social one.
Did you know that 8 million adults over the age of 50 are affected by isolation, according to the National Council On Aging? The National Academy of Sciences reports that social isolation and loneliness are associated with the highest risk of mortality in adults aged 52 and older. With 28% of the 65 and older population living alone, AARP has introduced the Connect2Affect program in 2016, to help raise awareness and offer solutions within this critically important domain.
So what does all of this mean for you and your parents? From our perspective, it means taking a step back and making sure that the social implications of a move are addressed - in addition to the emotional and physical ones. Most of us automatically think of the task of helping our parents downsize, of assisting with booking the movers, of running the budget to make sure the new residence is a viable solution. But how many of us stop to think about how this move will impact their social connectivity and how it may inadvertently contribute to isolation.
In that spirit, here are a few resources to help!
#1: ‘The New Retirement: Near The Kids’ (New York Times)
Take a read of this recently published article which talks about the seismic shift of senior communities away from traditional, warm climates and closer to economic booms where adult children are working!
#2: QUIZ: How Much Do I Know About Social Isolation? (Connect2Affect)
Click HERE to take a simple 10-part quiz that provides an eye-opening perspective on how social isolation looks and feels as well as its prevalence.
#3: SOLUTIONS: ‘7 Tips to Maintain Social Connections in Retirement’ (US News & World Report)
There is a very worthwhile read published last spring with 7 practical and impactful ways to keep connections growing with age. Suggestions such as volunteering and expanding your social circle before you retire are easy to implement and can bring immeasurable connectivity!
Last but not least… don’t forget about the resource that is RIGHT in front of you: US! Here at T-O-P Move Management, we can help you assess the big picture of the move and manage the physical and emotional facets, so that the social component is not lost in the shuffle. The absolute truth behind the Connect2Affect movement is that ‘when people connect, they affect each other’s lives’. We look forward to making a positive, lasting and truly meaningful difference in yours, so let’s chat!
All our best,
Julie & Helen