What Do You Need to Know about Senior Loneliness and Isolation?
February 27, 2022
Something that can be surprising to family caregivers and the aging adults that they love is that loneliness is a much bigger problem than they ever realized. It’s so easy for aging adults to find themselves isolated, often without having tried to do so. Why is this such a big deal?
Loneliness and Isolation Can Lead to Serious Health Risks
The biggest concern with isolation and loneliness is not what you’d expect. Of course the emotional impacts are a huge issue. But loneliness has other effects, too, including a higher risk of cardiac health issues, a greater fall risk, and a greater risk of developing dementia. These are all huge and if your senior has risk factors for some of these health issues already, you definitely don’t want to add to the pile. Reducing loneliness and isolation can help.
Isolation Can Keep Your Senior from Care She Needs
Another way that isolation can affect your senior’s health is that it can cause her to stay away from the health care that she needs the most. Depending on the reasons your senior has started to isolate herself, she may become even more disconnected from the world around her much more quickly. Ensuring that your senior has the transportation and assistance that she needs can be the key to keeping isolation from taking to large a toll on your elderly family member.
Social Activities Offer Huge Benefits to Aging Adults
Being just a little more social helps your elderly family member to improve her mood and releases chemicals in her brain and body that can help her to feel better in general about life. Socialization can even assist your senior in maintaining memory and cognition, which is a huge goal for seniors. Your senior may also be more likely to engage in other healthy behaviors, like taking a walk with a friend.
Reconnecting Might Be Easier than Your Senior Suspects
Finding small ways to help your elderly family member to ease back to reconnecting with others is important. Your senior may feel rusty at first but taking that first step is often the most difficult. Ask your senior what she’s willing to try out, whether that’s a new group activity or reaching out to friends and family members.
Having Help Works Even Faster
Home care assistance can give your senior even faster results when it comes to banishing loneliness and ending isolation. Often seniors isolate because life is becoming more challenging than they’re sometimes willing to admit. And senior care providers can assist with everything from transportation to making sure your elderly family member is eating regular meals. Having home care assistance can mean that your senior feels ready to engage with other people again.
It's not always easy to take those first steps toward reconnecting, so make sure that you’re gentle with your senior. Help her to understand why it’s so important for her to at least try to reach out a little bit. Sometimes getting past that one barrier is all your senior needs.
If you or your loved one is looking for Home Care Assistance in San Mateo, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.
Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990
San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777
Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990