Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Banishing Loneliness Among Israeli Seniors

Networked Seniors provides a platform for the elderly to join discussion groups in the evening and weekends, when loneliness hits hardest

By: Karin Kloosterman

Published: July 4th, 2014 in Business » Israel

Seniors find no shortage of Zumba classes, bridge tournaments and college courses. But even for the busiest senior citizen there are still moments of loneliness at the end of the day or on weekends, says Dov Sugarman, program manager of technology and aging at Eshel, a JDC-Israel program for Israel’s elderly population.

Eshel is confronting the issue head-on using new tools available on the Internet.

The organization launched a pilot of Networked Seniors around the same time as a similar project funded by Microsoft in New York. The Israeli version moved away from trying to develop a new networking technology, says Sugarman, and focused instead on the interaction and social elements that seniors need to beat loneliness.

While working in a senior residence in the United States, Sugarman learned that loneliness is a universal problem for seniors. It can affect even the most active people, and it can lead to secondary problems like dementia.

Loss of a spouse or good friends can hit hard, Sugarman tells ISRAEL21c. And for people who have a hard time leaving the house because of mobility issues or vision impairment, the loneliness factor is magnified.

To continue reading, click here

Via ISRAEL21c

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