Did you realize that social isolation increase’s risk of early death from all causes and has been associated with a 50 percent increased risk of dementia? Loneliness has been proven to cause a higher rate of clinical depression, anxiety, and suicide. Senior adults are at risk for loneliness and social isolation since they most often are living alone and facing the loss of family or friends. They are also coping with chronic illness, and possible mobility and hearing loss.
In Psychology Today, an article titled “A Cure for Disconnection” By Jennifer Latson published March 7, 2018 states that, “Loneliness is a problem of epidemic proportions, affecting millions from all walks of life. But while its roots are complex, remedies may be within reach.”
How To Overcome Loneliness and Social Isolation?
Top of my list would be, if able to care for one, is to adopt a pet. This small gesture gives many seniors a sense of purpose.
Try to ease them gently into using technology. This enables them to connect over many available conference apps.
Consider to schedule a specific time to check in on them. Talking for even a short time daily gives many shut-ins something to look forward to in the day.
There are many assistive devices to manage the health issues they might be coping with such as a hearing aid, magnifier, or a walker or cane. These types of devices can enable them to stay more in the loop with others and get around a bit easier.
Arrange to get them transportation. Everyone has doctor appointments that are necessary. They might want to participate in their dedicated church services or various recreational activities. Participation allows most to continue to be independent and a reliable ride can be a long-needed lifeline.
Coordinated visits with some friends, family, or a community group can provide some social interaction which can reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation. It’s a small gesture that can provide some necessary companionship.
Get a Partner On-Board
Consider to partner with an in-home care provider such as GoldLeaf HomeHealth, who can arrange to provide companion care, mobile care, homemaker services and personal care.
GoldLeaf CarePartners are compassionate in-home care professionals, thoroughly screened, bonded and insured. They are proficient in a proprietary training program and continue to participate in ongoing continuing education program throughout their employment with our team. We only hire CarePartners who meet our high standards of honesty, integrity, reliability, dedication and thoughtfulness. We match them with each of our clients using the GoldLeaf Connection. Matching up takes experience, specific skills, proximity, personality, language, training and client preferences into account. It doesn’t get any better!
Loneliness and social isolation take a huge toll on seniors’ physical, mental, and emotional health. Attempt to make an effort to ensure that your aging parents have regular interactions with others. Enable participation in activities they enjoy and help build meaningful connections.
Contact GoldLeaf HomeHealth today to schedule a free consultation. Our phone lines are available 24/7 for: Medical Services: 720.486.0480 | Non-Medical Services: 720.763.9039.
**Selected reading selections referred by the Unlonely Project at Art and Healing:
Jane E. Brody, “The Surprising Effects of Loneliness on Health,” Dec. 11, 2017, New York Times
Paula Span, “Loneliness Can Be Deadly for Elders; Friends Are the Antidote,” Dec. 30, 2016, New York Times
Judith Graham, “How Older Adults Can Recover from Loneliness,” May 18, 2017, Kaiser Health News
Jennifer Latson, “A Cure for Disconnection,” Psychology Today, March 7, 2018