As the pandemic continues to march on strongly, seniors are seeming to suffer the most. Because they are a vulnerable population, they must often stay quarantined which can prevent them from experiencing needful socialization. With this guide, loved ones and caregivers will discover why social isolation can be so harmful to seniors. Individuals will also discover what they can do to help seniors get involved in the community so they can find relief from their isolation.
Understanding the Dangers of Social Isolation for Seniors
Seniors who do not live in a senior living community often face loneliness because they no longer get to see friends and family as much as they once did. It is essential caregivers and loved ones understand the dangers of social isolation for seniors. The following offers insight into some of these dangers so individuals will know the importance of taking immediate action.
- Studies have found loneliness can be as big a danger to seniors as smoking, alcohol, and obesity.
- Mental health declines are common when individuals are facing social isolation.
- Severe loneliness has been proven to negatively affect the cardiovascular system, including the heart of seniors.
- Seniors who are socially isolated often spend more time indoors which creates a sedentary lifestyle.
- When seniors are faced with social isolation, they are more likely to develop dementia which can be devastating.
- Depression and anxiety are also common when seniors are socially isolated.
- Another danger of senior social isolation is high blood pressure.
Seniors who face consistent social isolation may begin to neglect their personal hygiene and their health. If caregivers and loved ones notice changes to the appearance of a senior, it is important they take immediate action. Being aware of the signs of problems will help individuals get involved and help a senior become a part of a community.
Signs of Social Isolation Problems in Seniors
Multiple signs may indicate a senior is socially isolated. Before reading the following signs, individuals need to know there is a profound difference between simple loneliness and true social isolation. Most seniors get lonely at times, but true social isolation will often result in the following signs. If a person notices a senior is suffering from any of the following signs, it is important they learn about memory care services.
- Personal hygiene gets neglected consistently.
- The senior has trouble falling asleep or they may sleep way too much.
- Seniors who are socially isolated may experience major changes in their weight.
- A senior may also experience a lack of interest in hobbies and activities they once enjoyed.
- Seniors can also exhibit signs of losing interest in socialization.
- Declining mental health and cognition may also occur in seniors who are socially isolated.
How to Help Socially Isolated Seniors
It is essential seniors stay connected to their communities. Staying socially active will help seniors avoid the overwhelming loneliness that occurs when they do not spend time with friends and family regularly. The following are some things individuals can do to help seniors who are suffering from social isolation. In addition to the following, individuals can seek help from memory care living.
Seniors need to be involved with beneficial social activities that will keep them active and allow them to enjoy life. Social clubs, gym memberships, and classes can all benefit seniors and help them to avoid social isolation.
Family time is essential. Often, loved ones lead busy lives and do not get to spend as much time as they would like with their senior loved ones. It is essential family members do everything possible to make time for their senior loved ones so they will not feel so alone.
There are now multiple ways seniors can stay in touch safely with friends and family. It is important caregivers and loved ones introduce technology options to seniors and teach them how to use them effectively, including video chat.
Pets can be good companions for seniors. Often, a furry friend allows a senior to feel a renewed sense of purpose. Getting a dog or a cat can be a welcome change for a lonely senior who feels isolated from the world around them.
Get Involved to Help Seniors
Family and caregivers must get involved when they notice changes in seniors. Getting involved will allow seniors to get the socialization they so desperately need, even in the midst of a pandemic. Now is the time to act.
At Summerfield of Fresno, we are dedicated to providing a safe and socially stimulating environment that helps seniors live their best lives. Our daily activities ensure seniors enjoy every minute as a resident in our communities.