Can technology ever replace friendships, community and companionship?
Friendship and companionship has been around since the beginning of time. We’ve lived in tribes since the beginning.
Equally, the service sector has existed for quite some time. Caring and advisory services, like doctors/healers, village elders, lawyers and wise old men are some of the oldest professions within our communities. They would have advised clients, offered their services, knowledge and their time. They would have had their clients’ best interests at heart, and they then would have charged for their services – either in money, food, exchange of services, or even just kudos. Read More
Is technology enhancing connectedness, or causing isolation? Could it be dismantling our communities and interpersonal relationships?
What can you learn today?
The benefits of learning are well known and undisputed. However, things are changing. The ways of facilitating learning are improving and access to learning is becoming more ubiquitous and incredibly cheap (free!). We used to think that the brain stopped learning after a certain age. However, new findings shows that our brains keep replenishing (neurogenesis) and keeps developing (neuroplasticity) for most our lives.
We are nothing without the knowledge and skills we develop. Learning keeps us young, mentally supple, and keeps our mind ticking over. Without learning, our mind would remain juvenile. Without sharpening the tool, we have, we would remain basic animals. Keeping our minds active in our latter years should be important as basic nutrition and daily hygiene. Read More
Are we remembering our loved ones these holidays?
Summer and bank holidays are exciting times of the year. The kids are off school, and you’ve got some time off work to, catch up, relax and enjoy.
Holidays are great, but sometimes they can end up anything but that. The intention is to have a break, but suddenly there’s all these people to catch up with, sporting events to attend, kids’ activities and maybe a mini-vacation thrown in there. It’s easy to get gobbled up in all the holiday ‘essentials’.
Times of nostalgia and reflection
The elderly feel as much enjoyment and maybe nostalgia for these times. But instead of the up-spike in activity, there can be a vacuum as usual activities and services close, and there then left with less to do than normal. Read More
We all anecdotally know that it feels good to be with people. But I think many underestimate quite how important company, companionship and human connection is.
In the bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence, the author, Dr Daniel Goleman, discusses the concept of “right or wrong” in society. He argues there is no objective right or wrong. It’s merely a societally agreed abstraction. He argues that a person as a social being is nothing in isolation – they are only something when put into a context of others around them and their relative position within society as a whole. Read More
Loneliness and isolation within the UK’s elderly community has reached epidemic proportions – and is set to increase. The statistics are stark:
- 3.9m of UK’s elderly say that the television is their main company (Age UK, 2014)
- 51% of the elderly live alone (ONS, 2010)
- 1.2m elderly are chronically lonely (Age UK)
- 20% say they have no one to turn to (The Campaign To End Loneliness)
- 11% are in contact with family or friends less than once a month (Victor et al, 2003)
The deleterious effects of loneliness are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day(Holt-Lunstad), and has significant causation links to depression, dementia (increasing chance by 64% (Holwerda et al, 2012)), and mortality (by 26% (Holt-Lunstad, 2015)). Read More