As we age, one of our biggest fears is often about being alone. It can be harder to have a social life as we age, whether it's due to location, communication, or difficulty moving around. The term for this is social isolation, and it's especially common in adults over the age of 65.
"Social isolation is the absence of social relationships," Forget Me Not services says. "It is especially prevalent among adults over the age of 65 who live alone and are unable to participate in many activities due to issues regarding transportation, physical impairments, or lack of confidence in their social skills. This isolation can lead to increased risks of depression, cardiovascular diseases, and feelings of denial, guilt, and self-loathing."
Studies have proven that a simple phone call can help put these feelings of isolation at bay and increase someone's sense of purpose.
For Anika Kumar, she had seen the affects of social isolation on an older person first hand. At just 15 years old, she began volunteering at an assisted living facility. Kumar would see people daily and chat with them, and she started to notice how much their conversations meant to the elderly people.
"They have so much to share, so many stories, so much advice and encouragement. It’s really great the relationship you can have with them,” explained Kumar.
It finally dawned on Kumar that there was something she could do to help combat social isolation in seniors, so she gathered up her friends and started something really special.