What Impact Does Social Isolation Have on Health in Older Adults?

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Socializing is often viewed as one of life’s little extras people get to enjoy during their free time. However, social ties play a huge role in helping seniors stay physically and mentally healthy. If your aging loved one lives alone or has begun to become isolated from others, you need to be aware of the following reasons to help him or her rebuild a social network.

Faster Rates of Cognitive Decline

Talking to other people requires using cognitive abilities to do things such as remember a funny story to share or call people by their names. Your loved one also learns new things when socializing with people from diverse backgrounds. While it may just look like fun, sharing a recipe or taking part in a class can reduce your loved one’s chances of experiencing severe memory loss or dementia.

Increased Vulnerability to Elderly Abuse

Scammers and other abusers look for elderly people who spend most of their time alone because they know they can prey on seniors’ loneliness. For instance, seniors may be tempted to talk to scammers if they haven’t talked to anyone else in days. Elderly abuse is also more devastating for seniors who don’t have people checking in on them, since it can go on for much longer before it’s caught. Make sure you or another caregiver checks in on your loved one regularly through the week to ensure nefarious people aren’t taking advantage of him or her.

Reduced Motivation to Take Care of Physical Health

It takes serious motivation for seniors to exercise and perform daily tasks such as bathing when they experience chronic pain or other health issues. However, knowing they have special events to get ready for may be all it takes to get motivated to get out of bed and get dressed. Seniors who have frequent social contacts are also more likely to eat better, exercise, and abstain from unhealthy habits such as drinking too much alcohol. 

Seniors who don’t take good care of their physical health could develop serious illnesses, making it challenging to care for themselves on their own. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care service. Vancouver, BC, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Higher Risk of Mental Illness

Loneliness and depression go hand in hand. After all, most people start to feel sad if they have no one to share their triumphs and burdens with each day. Seniors may also worry excessively about things that are out of their control when they’re unable to vent their emotions. Try to remember that even brief phone calls or lunch visits once a week are helpful for preventing mental illness in seniors who live alone. 

Mental and emotional challenges are common for many aging adults, but seniors don’t have to face these challenges alone. Senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Greater Chance of a Chronic Health Condition

Between the higher frequency of negative emotions and a lack of motivation to follow healthy lifestyle habits, seniors often experience health consequences that further deepen the impact of isolation. Help your loved one avoid developing heart disease from living a sedentary lifestyle by making sure he or she has someone to go on outings with, or help him or her with an exercise routine. Socially active seniors also tend to be physically active, which goes a long way toward boosting their health.

Whether your loved one craves regular companionship or needs someone to assist with daily chores, consider hiring a professional caregiver. For families living in Vancouver, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (778) 279-3634 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services

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