Loneliness And Isolation Put You At Risk

Loneliness and IsolationA new study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science is shedding new light on loneliness and isolation. The study was conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University and found some alarming trends when it comes to loneliness and isolation. In short, researchers found that “Actual and perceived social isolation are both associated with increased risk for early mortality”. That means a life cut short by being lonely… and that is a shame.

Several lifestyle and environmental factors are risk factors for early mortality, including smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and air pollution. However, in the scientific literature, much less attention has been given to social factors dem- onstrated to have equivalent or greater influence on mortality risk (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton, 2010).

Loneliness and Isolation Study

The study was a meta-analysis (a study of many studies) involving millions of data-points.  Researchers concluded that there is substantial evidence that indicates people lacking social connections “are at risk for premature mortality”. The risk associated with social isolation and loneliness are comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality, like obesity.

The data in this meta-analysis should make researchers call into question the assumption that social isolation among older adults places them at greater risk compared with social isolation among younger adults. Using the aggregate data, we found the opposite to be the case. Middle-age adults were at greater risk of mortality when lonely or living alone than when older adults experienced those same circumstances. – Julianne Holt-Lunstad et al

In an surprising twist, there was greater risk for those individuals 65 and under vs their older counterparts. I would have thought just the opposite, but the risk is there nonetheless.  I think it further confirms the need for awareness and caring for others, and the importance of connectivity to family and friends. Technology helps us stay connected, as do social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In my mind, nothing can take the place of personal visit to family or a phone call that reaches out and touches someone you care about.

After 60 Years Of Marriage Man Finds Note From Diseased Wife

don't cry because I died

Man Finds Note

In a perfect ending to a 60 year love story, Cliff Sims’ grandmother penned one last love letter to her husband… And it’s gone viral.  Cliff Sims posted the note to his Facebook page, and it’s currently flying around the world wide web.  The note reads:

Please don’t cry because I died!  Smile because I lived!  Know that I’m in a happy place!  Know that we will meet again!  I’ll see you there! – Billie  Breland

Billie Breland (Mimi) stuffed the note into her checkbook before she died.  Her final love letter (that we know of) has the internet buzzing today.  Hopefully this story fills your Thursday with inspiration and happiness.

Photo credit: Cliff Sims/Facebook

People and Products on Twitter this week

products on twitterThis week saw a lot of interesting eldercare news out on the Twittersphere.  If you’re on twitter and want to have your tweets featured on The Senior List make sure you follow us there.  You can find us here @SeniorList.  Same goes for Facebook, if you’re on Facebook make sure we’re connected up so we can talk there too.  You can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheSeniorList or just put The Senior List into your search bar.  OK, here are your Sunday morning tweets that caught our eye… Oh and enjoy your day!

The Pic Scanner App is a new “old photo scanner” that makes it easy to digitize your family pictures that are sitting in the shoe box. This might be one of our favorite products on Twitter this week.  Here’s the description in the App Store: Love old photos? Then you will love this app. Scans up to four pics simultaneously, and crops them automatically. So easy! Preserve & share memories with friends and family. A “must-have” app for tbt, craft, genealogy, ancestry and digital scrapbooking lovers.

If you needed inspiration this week (after digging out of all that snow), this sign may have done the trick for you. I love these kind of anonymous gestures!

If that weren’t enough, here’s some more inspiration for your Sunday morning!

Given today is the first day of March, this tweet seems appropriate!

I never thought of Bangkok at an optimal retirement destination but apparently some think it is!

Unless you were buried in snow, and just dug out… You know that we lost generational icon Leonard Nimoy this week. He lived long, and he prospered.

You’d be surprised to know how many people are afraid to discuss real issues that affect aging adults. Topics like urinary incontinence and hemorrhoids affect a lot of people as they age, no reason to hide from these things… Let’s learn about them!

Finally – I found a nice one to end on. One of our favorite posts of all time. You’ll want to click through and read this letter if you haven’t already. Also, feel free to RT!

Top Websites For Medical Information And Advice

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to medical advice.  Recently, MarketingCharts.com put together a nice analysis of the top websites for medical information and advice.  They interpreted data from Experian Marketing Services which audited U.S. household desktop and personal computer Hitwise visits from 5 million internet visitors.  The data is very interesting noting that WebMD has almost 3 times the traffic of its nearest competitor Drugs.com.  Admittedly, there were a couple sites on here I’d never visited, but are nice nonetheless.  Sites like Everyday Health and HealthGuru are great if you haven’t visited, and they provide a lot of great information and advice.

top health information websites

It would be interesting to see if the chart changes at all when taking into account mobile (phone, tablet, etc.) visitors, but I’m guessing the trend stays aligned for the most part.  Also, there are a number of folks that use a good ole fashion search engine to lead them directly to what they’re looking for.  This is likely the case given that less than 40% of web traffic comes from humans.  (The rest comes from good and bad bots according to a number of sources out there.)  What websites do you use for medical information and advice?  Do you have a favorite or a top 3?  Let us know in the comments below!

Percentage of Seniors on Facebook Growing

Percentage of seniors on Facebook: A few simple steps can protect your privacy on facebookAccording to a study conducted in 2011 by North American Technographics, 49% of U.S. seniors spend time online.  Just under half of that number are currently active on Facebook.  Many use the site to keep in touch with old friends and keep tabs on their family members.  The percentage of seniors on Facebook is growing! Some seniors are new to the technology, and they may not be aware of the need to protect their information from potential hackers. This leaves them extremely vulnerable to frauds, scams, and even theft and burglary in some cases.

Many seniors attend classes to learn about Facebook terminology. The following is an extensive guide for seniors on how to stay safe on Facebook.

Facebook Basic Terminology

Friends: These are generally family members and friends you know personally. However, some people have hundreds of friends whom they’ve never met. You can add friends by sending a friend “request” and the person has to accept the request to become one of your Facebook friends.

Be careful when responding to friend requests from people you don’t know personally. Your “friends” have access to your personal information on Facebook that the general public can’t see.

Wall: Your FB “wall” is where people can write public (within FB) messages to you, like “Happy Birthday!” Your wall also shows the posts you’ve made personally and has links to your friends’ posts if you’ve commented on their posts.

Status: Your “status” is anything you want to post about yourself. It can be family news, a joke, or anything you find interesting. When you update your status, whatever you post appears on your friends’ news feeds.

Be selective about what you share as your status! Don’t, for instance, announce that you’re leaving for a month in Europe or even that you’re at Lone Star Steakhouse for dinner. Beside the dangers of announcing you aren’t home, most friends really don’t care if you’re at the grocery store or shoe shopping.

Groups: FB groups are where people with shared interests – cooking, knitting, cats, politics, power tools, etc. – can interact by sharing comments and links. Groups are a good way for clubs to publicize events and keep members up-to-date on events.
Things to remember about groups:

  • Non-FB friends in your groups see your name, but don’t see your personal information.
  • Groups can either be tagged as “open, closed, or secret.”
  • Secret groups are invisible to search engines and even FB searches. Group members have to “invite” new members to join. Secret groups are a good option if you want to keep information completely private and hidden – like youth groups, a Sunday school information board, etc.

Shared Links: Many people have inadvertently downloaded viruses & other malicious software by clicking on suspicious links in Facebook. This usually happens when a friend’s account gets hacked and the hacker posts a link with a provocative – but generic – title like: “See what miraculous ingredient gets rid of stubborn belly fat!” or “Look at the family pictures I just posted” or “Can you believe this?” or “Claim your $500 gift card to Starbuck’s, Costco, ….” or any other offer that sounds too good to be true.

Secure URL: Pay close attention to the link’s URL (http address). If it’s to the New York Times, WalMart.com, or other recognizable sites, then it’s probably ok. But if it’s to a site you’ve never heard of – especially if it has an international address (something other than .com, .org, etc…), then it very well could be a spam and/or dangerous link. When in doubt, don’t click.

Keeping Your Private Information Private

Password: Follow all the basic security steps to set your Facebook password (and all other online passwords for that matter)– avoid using your pet’s names, children’s names, and other things that are easy to guess. One good hint is to use both numbers and letters, but make sure you can remember them. If you remember your childhood phone # or a random grouping of numbers and letters, that’s a good start.  There are sites that will generate strong passwords for you if you are having a hard time coming up with one on your own.

Security Settings: Under the “Account” link in your account, there’s an option titled “Account Settings.” Click the link and then select “Security” from the left-hand menu.

  • Enable “Secure Browsing”: That sets up a secure http connection. So when you log into your FB account, the URL in the browser window will start with “https” instead of just http.

Privacy Settings: Access your privacy settings from the “Privacy Settings” option under the “Account” tab.

Be careful when you play any games or take Facebook quizzes.  They will most likely require you to give access to your personal data that will be used to target advertising to you and your friends.  The Privacy Settings page also offers options to control how people can find you on Facebook and whether search engines will index your content to show up in search results.  Make sure to select the “off” option for search engine indexing to maximize your privacy.

In the past, Facebook has justifiably been criticized for its lack of transparency with privacy. The service recently launched a “Privacy Shortcuts” link that’s always in the top right-hand corner of your Facebook page.  Be sure to check your privacy settings occasionally to make sure they are up to date and in line with your preferences.

Carli De La Cruz is the Sales & Marketing Assistant at Bay Alarm Medical. Carli earned a B.A. in Sociology with Legal Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She currently manages all of Bay Alarm Medical’s social media sites, and assists with advertising campaigns. She writes blogs on senior health, retirement, senior living, baby boomer news, and medical alert industry news. You can read more of her posts at Bay Alarm Medical blog.

Five More Senior Care Experts You Should Follow On Twitter

In June we wrote a piece called “5 Aging Experts You Should Be Following On Twitter“.  It was a popular post and features some of our favorite eldercare advocates that you should be following on Twitter (if you’re into tweeting).   Today we thought we’d give you 5 more senior care experts that you should add to your list.  Drum-roll please…

#1) Dr. Kathy Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Home Care Assistance. She is a certified care manager, psychologist and caregiver, and tweets about a multitude of aging issues (and solutions).

#2) Lynn Wilson founded The Care Giver Partnership, which provides advice, services, resources and products to Caregivers and their loved ones.

#3)  Nanette Davis, Ph.D.  is a writer, speaker, advocate and life coach for caregivers.  She’s also a community educator who’s written several books including; “The ABCs of Caregiving: Words to Inspire You” and “Caregiving Our Loved Ones: Stories and Strategies That Will Change Your Life”.

#4) Beverly Parsons is a licensed clinical social worker who has 12 years of geriatric care management experience working with aging families.  Beverly is also a family mediator who helps families navigate troubled waters.

#5)  Dementia Journeys – John Belchamber founded Dementia Journeys with great inspiration from his mother Anne.  He found comfort sharing his feelings through writing AND sharing with others.  A very nice dementia resource.


We hope you enjoy the above senior care experts on Twitter.  Click here to find The Senior List on Twitter, we look forward to interacting with you on Twitter soon!

Also, make sure you follow us on Facebook today or just click the big “f” and then click LIKE.

  facebook app for apple

The Senior List on Social Media

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter?  If not, you might think about joining the social revolution!  The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently published some impressive statistics about social networks and just who’s online today!  Interesting to note that “as of August 2012, 69% of online adults use social networking sites”.  That’s a big number!  Not so surprising is that most of these adults polled choose to interact with Facebook (primarily) followed by the other major social networking sites (see below), and women are more likely to be using social networking sites as compared to men.

As of August 2012 Pew polling noted:The Senior List on Social Media

  • 66% of online adults say they use Facebook
  • 20% of online adults say they use LinkedIn
  • 16% of online adults say they use Twitter
  • 12% of online adults say they use Pinterest
  • 12% of online adults say they use Instagram

The Senior List has a robust following on social media sites and we’d like to invite you to join our online engagement!  You can find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSeniorList.  We post our own articles as well as some of our favorite writers around the country.  In addition to joining The Senior List on Facebook, you’ll find a great networking resource on our LinkedIn group site (aptly named The Senior List).  You can find The Senior List group site on LinkedIn very easily.  Just navigate to “groups” and type in “The Senior List”.  You’ll be joining over 1,600 other aging professionals that love to discuss the issues facing boomers and seniors.

If that wasn’t enough you can find us on Twitter (@SeniorList) and join over 3,600 fellow aging pros and business owners.  We look forward to seeing you back here at The Senior List.com as well as on our social media partner sites.

“What social sites are you using for fun and/or for networking? Let us know in the comments section below!”

The Senior List On Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter

The Senior List on FacebookWe’re often asked what social networks we’re involved with.  Here are a few of the places you can find The Senior List online.  We hope you’ll follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter!

Our Group Site on LinkedIn is very active with over two thousand members!  You’re invited to join The Senior List on LinkedIn, where we have a great posts, discussions, comments, networking and more!

Naturally we have a Facebook Fan Page.  Join The Senior List on Facebook today.
On Twitter you’ll find us at @SeniorList

Winners of The Senior List Facebook Promotion

The Senior ListThe Senior List Eldercare Directory is pleased to announce the winners of our Follow The Senior List on Facebook contest.  (You can view our Facebook Fan Page and learn more about the winners by joining us on facebook!)

Winners received a Showcase Listing in our senior provider directory  to run through the end of the year!  Congratulations to:

Brian Hilgengerg, owner of Senior Helpers in Desmoines, Iowa

Nancy Bortolameolli, owner of Senior Helpers of the Fox Cities, Wisconsin

Jennifer Prell, President of Silver Connections in Cary, Illinois

Bobbi Crockett, owner of Community Connections in Matthews, Virginia

(Winners we’ll contact you thru facebook for details on claiming your prize.)  Congrats once again!!

The Senior List Celebrates Social Media With Giveaways

This week The Senior List is celebrating social media (and the best eldercare providers on the planet)! The Senior List Eldercare Directory engages the best senior-care providers by providing a platform that focuses on consumer ratings and reviews.  This week, The Senior List is giving away 10 Showcase Listings to senior-care providers that join our Facebook Fan Page.  The Showcase Listings will run through the remainder of this year, and expire on Dec. 31, 2010.  If you’re a senior-care provider, all you have to do is add yourself to The Senior List on Facebook and introduce yourself and/or your company.

At noon on Friday (PST), September 24th we’ll select 10 eldercare providers (at random) from our Facebook Fan Page.  Be sure to introduce yourself, as only those providers with a shout-out will be considered eligible.  (If you’re already on our Facebook page, don’t worry… Just introduce yourself and/or your company and you’re eligible.)  We’ll place all of our eligible entrants into a hat, and ask co-founder Amie Clark to pluck out 10 lucky winners.  Our Showcase Listings are the best in the business.  They include premium positioning, photo gallery, rich description, video embed, direct contact form, coupon/promotions, and more…  As a provider on The Senior List, you can even monitor your business listing’s performance with our “provider dashboard” tool.  This dashboard allows providers to track impressions, clicks, etc.  You can read about all of our listing options here on our Advertising Options page.

We’ll announce the lucky winners Friday, September 24th at 12:15pm (PST). The announcement will be made live right here on The Senior List Blog.  We’ll follow this up an hour later by announcing the results on our Facebook Page, on Twitter (@seniorlist), AND on LinkedIn.   Best of luck, and see you around!