Combating Senior Isolation
By Cheri Platte, Managing Director, Circle of Care Home Care
Isolation and loneliness are something we can all identify with, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020. However, for the elderly, loneliness and isolation are not just due to the lockdowns and restrictions – aging seniors who live alone at home have always been dealing with this.
We have all gone through a feeling of loneliness and isolation; so, we can be sympathetic to this situation. At the end of the day, nobody wants to spend the majority of their time alone at home with no company. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many aging seniors.
Why Combating Isolation and Loneliness in Seniors Is Crucial
Senior isolation has become a huge problem in the United States and around the world. This might be due to aging-related role transitions such as retirement, physical changes in health status or just being geographically separated from loved ones.
The reasons elderly people might be isolated and suffering from loneliness include: moving to new cities, the passing away of friends or loved ones, immobility due to health conditions and the loneliness of being an empty nester. It is safe to say that loneliness is causing serious mental and overall health problems for the elderly.
Since the beginning of time, humans are social creatures. This does not change as we age. In fact, our older years are when we need the support and presence of a social community more than ever.
The sad truth is that social isolation and loneliness have an incredibly negative affect on health. The Journal of Aging Life Care tells us that social isolation in the elderly produces health risks of the same magnitude as smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Being isolated and lonely can decrease the life expectancy of a person by many years. We have to consciously do something about it.
Here’s How You Can Help
Now that we know social isolation can be a huge health risk to seniors, we have to do something about it. Luckily, there are things that can be done to improve the quality of life of your elderly loved one:
When things go back to normal, get them socially involved in activities that align with their passion: joining a class, attending church, volunteering at organizations, or clubs are just one of the many ways to be surrounded by like-minded people and be a part of a community. There are plenty of social activities out there that are specifically targeted at the senior community.
Take advantage of the use of technology. The internet is a great way to stay connected, even if you are not geographically close. Utilize platforms like Zoom, Skype or FaceTime to connect with your loved ones on a regular basis. There are even online chat rooms and sites for seniors where they can play games, meet new people, and cultivate new friendships.
Get them a pet. Having a pet around immediately decreases loneliness. Owning a furry pal has great benefits that improve health conditions such as high blood pressure, anxiety and also increase life expectancy.
Hire a professional caregiver. Getting a caregiver from a specialized service provider has amazing benefits. Trained caregivers will be able to provide enlightening companionship that your loved one needs. They will also be able to assess the root cause of any mental and physical health issues as well as helping develop effective solutions for them. Whether it is just providing companionship, assisting around the house, or performing healthcare duties, home care services have been shown to add so much value to a senior citizen’s life.
Final Thoughts - Circle of Care Can Help Combat Senior Isolation
Circle of Care is fully equipped with trained and experienced professionals who are ready to provide the right care and support for seniors combating isolation. We are here to provide personalized home health care that focuses on enlightening companionship that reduces solitude and loneliness, which is essential to the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of seniors.
Perhaps you may not know the right steps to take or simply do not have the resources or time to be there, but we do. We provide personalized care that goes the extra mile, so you don’t have to. Your loved one’s health and well-being is our priority.
CIRCLE OF CARE, LLC
Cheri Platte is a home care expert and a professional consultant for family caregivers. She has been a compassionate advocate for the elderly for over 20 years now. As the Managing Director for Circle of Care, she focuses on providing excellent and high-quality home care solutions for families who care for their loved ones.
Her mission is to educate the public on the benefits of home care and home health, assist families in developing individual care plans, and help them plan for the advanced stages of aging, emphasizing on what matters most in terms of quality of life for the loved one. The company culture enables Circle of Care to hire and retain hundreds of professional care team members who are skilled and compassionate and produces a word-of-mouth referral network in the Southern California communities they serve. They are trusted by families, doctors, nurses, social workers, hospitals, nursing homes, senior communities, Long Term Care Specialists and other esteemed members of the healthcare industry. When not helping families in need, Cheri spends time mentoring other business owners and rising professionals plus volunteering at various organizations.