Loneliness is crippling for everyone, especially older adults. The trouble is that chronic loneliness doesn’t just make you feel terrible but, it also has devastating health consequences. In a study conducted at Brigham Young University, researchers found that the effects of chronic loneliness are equivalent to smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. But, unlike for anxiety and depression, there is no pill to treat loneliness or a recognized diagnosis or treatment for chronic loneliness or isolation. So, how do we address this epidemic that is plaguing our country?
In a recent study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry researchers found that there is one technology that can help reduce loneliness – Video conferencing. Video chatting was found to be more effective than phone calls, email, instant messaging and social media engagement. In fact, adults who used email, instant messaging or social media platforms such as Facebook had about the same rate of depressive symptoms as those who did not use any communication technologies. Whereas, adults who used video conferencing platforms like Skype and FaceTime had almost half the estimated probability of depressive symptoms.
Participation in two-way interactive video conferencing allows quality face to face interactions. So, video chatting has that same physiological effects as being in a room with another person, which is key to fighting loneliness. At televeda, we leverage live video interactions to bring the community environment to adults anywhere, anytime, even directly in their living room.
Livestreaming interactive fitness classes not only allow for human interactions but, it also helps improve moods for the older adult population. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals all work together to make you feel great!
Video chatting, including our Empowered Living platform, is now accessible to every person with a smartphone, tablet, Smart TV or laptop. Interactive livestreaming is a simple feature to learn how to use that can substantially improve the quality of life for older adults.