The prevalence of social isolation among seniors is caused by a complex set of factors, ranging from mobility impairment to location. When seniors remain isolated for an extended time, it can have a lasting effect on psychological and physical health. Ahead, learn about the factors that lead to social isolation in the elderly.
Sensory & Mobility Limitations
Sensory and mobility impairments are among the leading causes of social isolation. Seniors who live with vision loss, hearing loss, or limited mobility may not have the ability or the desire to leave the house. They’re often unable to drive, and they may be uncomfortable using other transportation options, such as ride-sharing systems and public transit. Without easy access to transportation, these seniors remain housebound, which limits social interactions.
Appropriate medical care can reduce isolation in these seniors. Schedule regular doctor’s appointments for your loved one, and arrange for any necessary transportation. Consider enrolling your parent in a doctor house call program. Receiving effective treatment may better equip your loved one to stay connected with his or her social circle, even if it’s just via phone, text, or video chat.
Seniors who don’t receive regular healthcare could also develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves on their own. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Annapolis, MD, live-in care professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care are here to help. Our caregivers promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.
Limited Financial Resources
For seniors with limited resources, social isolation can be a consequence of frugality. They may not be able to afford frequent public transportation trips or common social activities, such as trips to the movies or the local café. These monetary limitations can lead seniors to skip social events they otherwise would have attended.
If financial challenges become sufficiently severe, they can also cause chronic anxiety. When seniors are constantly anxious, they may be less interested in engaging socially. Low-cost transportation options can help seniors get around town, and volunteer visitor programs can keep them socially engaged.
Poor Emotional Wellbeing
Social isolation and emotional health are intricately linked. It can be difficult to determine whether poor emotional health leads to social isolation or social isolation leads to diminished emotional health. Nonetheless, depression is a psychological factor that can lead to social isolation in seniors. Depression, a disorder characterized by sustained feelings of sadness and listlessness, can leave seniors with depleted mental resources.
Seniors who are experiencing depressive episodes may not be able to muster the energy needed to stay social. They may lose touch with their social networks. If your loved one is experiencing depression, get the appropriate help. Seniors grappling with depression may benefit from group therapy, which provides the opportunity to manage emotional problems and interact socially.
Social activity is only one of many factors that contribute to robust mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. You can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.
Major Life Events
When seniors lose loved ones, retire, or move away from home, it can lead to emotional upheaval. Seniors who don’t have healthy management strategies may address these upheavals by retreating from their social communities. Help your loved one manage these major changes by providing emotional, financial, and practical support.
If your loved one needs extra assistance in the home, look for an affordable housekeeper. When your parent is adapting to a new device, such as a cane or a hearing aid, make sure he or she has everything necessary to succeed—from physical therapy sessions to easy-to-understand instructions.
Social isolation can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but they don’t have to handle them alone. In Annapolis, at-home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call us at (667) 408-8400 to learn about our comprehensive Annapolis in-home care plans.