There is an often unrecognized epidemic of loneliness and isolation affecting senior citizens today. Many are suffering from cognitive decline, which only exacerbates the problem, by robbing the seniors of their memories of recent social interactions. To combat this, as well as raise awareness of the issue, Montana State University’s Alzheimer’s Association Club, together with Conversations to Remember (C2R) is hosting a talk-a-thon. This is a five-day intergenerational communication campaign, where participants raise money and awareness through talking to seniors. Participants can make an emotional and financial impact through phone calls and video calls with seniors they know or from their community. A few moments of your time, speaking to a senior, can really make their day. Even those who may not retain full memories of the details of the call can still retain the happiness and satisfaction after it is over. Your donations enable us to bring conversations to additional seniors. Spread the word through social media about this Talk-a-thon, so our message can reach millions of people, with the power to help lonely seniors.
Conversations to Remember works every day to combat senior isolation and loneliness by facilitating video calls between students and senior citizens. Many of the senior citizens who participate in our program also suffer from dementia, and even if they do not remember the call after it concludes, they are left with a positive feeling. Our program builds relationships, which is a key ingredient to easing feelings of loneliness. However, even just a one-time call to someone who is lonely or feeling isolated can help to relieve those feelings. Letting someone know that you care – letting them know that they matter to the outside world – can truly make a difference. That is the goal of this Talk-a-thon. Whether you are 5 or 85, you can participate and make a difference.
About Social Isolation and Loneliness
Human beings are social creatures. However, older individuals are alone much more than when they were younger. Children move away, and medical conditions may force seniors into communities away from the friendships they’ve built up through their adult lives. Recently, we’ve learned much about the individual and societal impact of social isolation and loneliness. These conditions have proven impacts on our physical well-being, and evidence shows that it can lead to health problems such as cognitive decline, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.
According to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report from February 2020, prior to the pandemic, approximately a third of Americans over 45 felt lonely, and approximately a quarter of those over 65 are socially isolated. The pandemic not only exacerbated this issue, but it also shined a spotlight on it.