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July 23, 2014

How Kendal at Home Helps Prevent Social Isolation Among Members

You’re living your retirement to the fullest. Each new day brings a new adventure, whether you’re trying your hand at a new hobby or spending your days volunteering within the community. So when your children suggest choosing to remain in your home could someday lead to you becoming socially isolated, you almost have to suppress a laugh.

But social isolation is no joke. According to the Social Care Institute for Excellence, an estimated 12 percent of those over 65 report feeling isolated. Sure, you’re healthy and active now, but who’s to say that won’t change 5, 10, or 20 years from now? And if it does, will you have a community of friends and advocates to prevent you from becoming socially isolated?

You will when you join Kendal at Home, a unique program that combines the security of a continuing care retirement community with the freedom and independence of living in your home. “The last thing we want is for a member to be isolated and alone in their home,” said Kendal at Home Executive Director Lynne Giacobbe in a recent radio interview. Kendal at Home helps prevent social isolation among its members in many ways, most notably by:

  • Hosting Member Events: Because Kendal at Home serves 10 counties in the Greater Cleveland area at this time, getting members together is no easy feat. That’s one reason why the not-for-profit organizes and hosts a variety of events in different locations throughout the year. Among these are its annual open house and regular healthy aging events, as well as special celebrations like its 10-Year Anniversary Luncheon.

  • Introducing New Technology: Today’s older adults are increasingly tech-savvy, so how better to help them stay connected with the people they love than providing them with new technological tools? Kendal at Home’s Technology Initiative, which involves providing its members with Independa Integrated CloudCare, a telecare and social engagement solution, does exactly that. 

  • Building Relationships with Retirement Communities: While Kendal at Home is not a retirement community in the traditional sense, it has strong ties and shared services with area retirement living communities, most notably, Kendal at Oberlin. Community events and activities at Kendal at Oberlin are often open to Kendal at Home members, presenting opportunities to bond with other older adults.

But it’s not just Kendal at Home working to prevent social isolation; members proactively seek out relationships amongst themselves as well. “Kendal at Home members have created a community. They have book groups and birdwatching events. They write a quarterly newsletter called ‘LeChat.' They meet at the orchestra, a movie or a play,” Giacobbe said.

Their continued efforts—combined with those of Kendal at Home—to forge new relationships and grow social networks prove aging in place does not have to lead to social isolation. Want to know more about Kendal at Home? Request information here.

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