Imagine you lived alone, did not know any of your neighbors, had no friends or relatives nearby to visit, and that the only time you left your house was to buy groceries or maybe to visit the library. Perhaps you would fill your days with TV or reading, but I’d be willing to bet after a few months, loneliness would melt into depression. There are a ton of studies linking health outcomes to one’s quality of life, which includes a senior’s level of isolation and/or social support network. Especially concerning is that isolation, and resulting depression, are becoming increasingly common among seniors.
But good news! There are a handful of creative and innovative approaches to combating isolation among seniors, like the UCSF Community of Voices/Comunidad de Voces HERE. Based on a 5 year study to determine whether choir (as a creative endeavor and group activity) can promote overall health among seniors, the lead researcher, Dr. Julene Johnson, is building on an initial study she conducted in Finland in which seniors in choirs scored higher on quality of life surveys than non-singers.