Isolation And The Health Impact Of Older Adults- What Can You Do?
As our communities are adjusting to another round of illness and outlets for social activities are minimal, how are our older adults adjusting? As the Administrator of Comfort Keepers In-Home Care, I have spent a large amount of time researching the long-term effects of isolation and loneliness. According to the CDC, older adults continue to be at an increased risk for loneliness and social isolation because they are more likely to face factors such as living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss.
Strong evidence suggests direct correlations between loneliness/social isolation and an increase in dementia, a higher risk of premature death, an increase in heart disease, stroke, depression and suicide, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits.
To reduce this impact on one’s health, what can we do as a community for those that are lonely and socially isolated?
- Reach out to your neighbor. Ask to have a SAFE social visit - cup of coffee, lunch or happy hour. Keep in mind vaccination status and or social distancing while wearing your mask and hand washing often.
- Send a handwritten note or gift basket.
- Set up regularly scheduled contacts with your loved one through phone calls, in person visits and or video calls. This will give them something to look forward to while also letting you stay abreast of any changes in their condition or behavior.
- Visit https://www.comfortkeepers.com/shelter-in-place for great resources for in-home entertainment, games and more.
- Hire a Caregiver for companionship. A Caregiver can make sure the person is eating regularly, staying hydrated, taking medications as prescribed, all while being a great support and friend.
If you are interested in making a difference and learning more about Isolation and Loneliness, reach out to Erin Youngblood at Comfort Keepers. 970-422-7040