While many people thrive with a little bit of solitude, it’s dangerous for mental and physical health to be chronically lonely. Those who live in near isolation can suffer from significant physical and mental health issues, and elderly adults are among those with the highest risk. If your elderly mom or dad spends most of their days alone in their home, they may be suffering from chronic loneliness and isolation.
How Do Seniors Become Isolated?
There are many challenges associated with age, but one of the most significant usually has to do with physical health. Due to many different age-related conditions, many elderly adults have difficulty getting around. Illness and injury can affect their stamina, muscle strength, balance and even their desire to leave their house and interact in the community. It’s not uncommon for previously social men and women to become withdrawn and resist doing activities they once did due to physical limitations. As they become increasingly isolated, their health suffers.
Most frequently, the contributors to loneliness include retirement, grown children who move away, health issues with friends, personal health issues and the death of a spouse and/or siblings. Also, many elderly adults are choosing to age at home instead of joining senior communities, making isolation more prevalent. Once family caregivers identify the factors that contribute to their loved one’s isolation, they can take steps to remedy it.
Isolation Is Not Healthy for Seniors
Living alone can be quite harmful to an elderly person’s health. Studies show that chronic loneliness can have a harmful effect on blood pressure, the immune system, the digestive system, and even the cardiovascular system. It’s quite common for isolated seniors to develop anxiety and stress, as well as hastening the onset of dementia. Loneliness creates stress on the body, which contributes to the decline in physical and mental health.
Seek Companionship with Home Care Providers
If a family caregiver notices that their elderly loved one spends much of their time alone, they must take the necessary steps to reduce the isolation and promote socialization. One of the most effective ways to do this is to hire a home care provider. These trained professionals know what it takes to provide excellent care for seniors and they are ideal companions for as long as they are needed. Home care providers can do a lot to help lonely seniors avoid social isolation.
Besides contributing to housework, pet care, laundry, and meal preparations, home care providers can be there for seniors to prevent loneliness. In fact, the true benefit of hiring a home care provider is their presence in the home of the aging adult. From planning outings and getting to appointments to spending time together pursuing hobbies in the home, seniors and their home care providers can make all kinds of plans to stay active, social and no longer lonely.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Arvada, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare West Denver. Call today: (720) 263-6060.