HelpAge Canada and its many partners continue to grow the RISE campaign—Reach Isolated Seniors Everywhere. From coast to coast to coast, we are raising awareness about how social isolation and loneliness put seniors at risk.
The risks seniors face can be both mental and physical. The more isolated someone becomes, the more difficult it is for them to take care of themselves, particularly as age takes its toll. Interacting with others becomes a challenge, as does eating well and exercising regularly.
Social isolation and loneliness also increase the risk of premature death, depression, and dementia. These factors can reduce a person’s quality of life, cause more falls, and burn out primary caretakers. One study shows that social isolation among seniors is more likely to cause premature death than obesity or a sedentary lifestyle. Another study likens its effects to those of smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. Suffice it to say, social isolation and loneliness are pervasive problems that affect far too many Canadian seniors.
Of course, looking after seniors is a year-round responsibility. However, in order to shine the spotlight on social isolation and loneliness, HelpAge Canada and its partners call on Canadians to rise to the occasion on two days in particular: the beginning and end of daylight saving time. These RISE Sundays are perfect opportunities to reach out to a senior you know. Give them a call, drop in for a visit, offer them your help. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, because small acts of kindness can make a difference in the lives of seniors. What matters is showing them that you care.
Your contribution to the RISE Campaign will help us raise the awareness of social isolation and loneliness and make Canada a better place for seniors to live.