Apr 12, 2017 by Robert Myer
Senior isolation and loneliness is a serious concern and most people don’t understand how much damage it can cause. According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau back in 2010, around 11 million people above the age of 65 lived alone and in relative isolation. The numbers have only increased since then. Loved ones don’t have the time or energy to offer their company because they have personal and professional commitments.
Seniors don’t have the same freedom to move around as younger adults do because they’re constrained by their health and physical ability. That just escalates their loneliness and makes them feel isolated from the world. Adult in-home care services can help as caregivers provide some companionship and assistance. However, senior adults need to socialize and develop their own friendships in order to escape this loneliness.
Why is Loneliness Harmful?
Loneliness can be harmful to people of all ages and make them more prone to depression. Seniors are more vulnerable to this problem because they don’t have jobs and a social life to keep them engaged. Here are some reasons why loneliness is harmful to seniors:
• Isolation in seniors can increase the risk of mortality.
• Feelings of loneliness can possibly lead to dementia and cognitive decline.
• Isolation can make seniors more vulnerable to abuse and fraud.
• Loneliness can have an impact on both mental and physical health.
• Lonely seniors are more pessimistic and less invested in their own health.
How to Handle Loneliness?
An experienced adult in-home care expert will have ample experience in this field. There are a number of ways in which you can handle senior loneliness and keep them happy. Here are some suggestions:
• Small Steps Help – Seniors want to know they’re a part of your life and that won’t happen if you don’t maintain regular contact with them. Home care experts encourage loved ones to contact seniors regularly, even if it’s for a short period of time. For example, you can call your loved one in the morning as you have your breakfast and casually discuss your plans for the day.
• Encouraging Socialization – Seniors should have their own circle of friends. That helps them become independent and less reliant on their loved ones. They gain more confidence and are more invested in their health if they have company of people of their own age and ideals.
It’s also a good idea for seniors to interact with the younger generation and teach them what they know. These activities will keep their minds engaged and mood pleasant.