When we’re young, life is busy and fast-paced. We may look at our older relatives and be jealous of the slower, calmer lives they lead. In many cases, though, those slow lives aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
In fact, medical researchers have pegged senior isolation as one of the most dangerous risks to our elderly loved ones.
Why Senior Isolation is Dangerous?
We all know the importance of caring for our aging family members’ physical health by keeping up with doctor appointments and giving them the medications they need. As it turns out, mere loneliness can cause plenty of other problems, as well.
Depression is a serious risk among the elderly, and it’s easy for it to set in when a person doesn’t have a job to go to or social appointments to keep. Our elders can become “stuck in a rut” and before long, depression strips them of their quality of life.
2. Lowered Mental Capacity
During social interactions, our minds are at work. We’re actively listening to what the other person says and thinking about our responses.
When an older person doesn’t have this type of interaction, though, they aren’t exercising their mind. As a result, they’re more prone to memory loss and other cognitive declines that are common among seniors
3. Health Risks from Inactivity
In many cases, social interaction directly comes with physical activity. People take walks together, play outdoor games, or enjoy other active types of entertainment. Even if this isn’t happening, social interaction helps to give an older person the energy to be more active.
Without that energy or those active opportunities, senior citizens are more likely to be sedentary. That lack of activity increases their risk of serious health problems like blood clots and heart disease.
4. Complications from Health Events
We all know the health risks that our aging loved ones face on a daily basis, like falls, strokes, infections, and more. All of these health events can become more serious if they don’t receive prompt medical attention.
If a person is socially isolated when they experience one of these problems, they are likely to be unable to get medical care on their own. They may not even be aware of the problem. The more often an older person has company, the more likely they are to get the care they need if something happens.
How to Prevent Senior Isolation for Your Loved Ones?
As much as we would all love to be there for our elderly loved ones, our own lives and needs tend to get in the way. Whether you live far away or your calendar is simply too full, we often don’t have the chance to spend as much time with loved ones as we wish we could.
One solution is the unique structure of home healthcare that Visiting Neighbor provides. While traditional home health aides may only visit a few times per week, our plans range from two to four visits per day for your loved one. As a result, your family member develops a relationship with their caregiver and has positive social interactions to look forward to every day.
To find out more or to sign up for our services and prevent senior isolation, contact our home health services team today.