Effects Of Isolation And Loneliness On Physical And Mental Health Of Seniors

  • January 30, 2020 BY  Anthem Seniors
  • Anthem Senior Sanctuary

In the last decade, talks about isolation and how it impacts seniors has gained a great deal of research. Science repeatedly has stated the dangers associated with being lonely/socially isolated as you age. As we grow old, many of us are alone more often than when we were younger, leaving us at risk to loneliness and social isolation, and associated health problems like cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and depression. Although living alone doesn’t inevitably lead to social isolation, but it definitely can be a contributing factor. Another factor of consideration being how often older adults engage in social activities. Social isolation can be attributed to decrease in social contacts as we age for reasons, such as retirement, lack of mobility, or the death of family and friends. Regardless of the causes, the consequences of social isolation can be damaging.

How much ever difficult it might be to hear, but socially isolated elderly people often have a shorter life span than their counterparts who stay engaged and active, meaning it’s important to take appropriate measures to prevent isolation if you or an older adult in your family is at risk for the same. Anthem Senior Living in Phoenix is an award-winning assisted facility in the region offering round-the-clock senior living in Anthem care to the residents.

How Social Isolation Affects The Physical And Mental Health Of Seniors?

  1. According to researchers, the odds for older adults who feel lonely and isolated to report having poor physical or mental health are higher, which can be combatted by encouraging social connections among them.
  2. Doctors have also found that feelings of loneliness are associated with poor cognitive performance and faster cognitive decline and risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have also established a connection between social isolation and higher rates of elder abuse. Communicating is a critical strategy for lowering elder abuse since abuse and exploitation often go unreported.
  3. Long-term illnesses and conditions, such as chronic lung disease, impaired mobility, arthritis, and depression are linked with social isolation which can be prevented through adequate care for your loved ones’ illnesses. The best way to connect with homebound seniors is through phone calls and visits. The best way out is moving to an assisted living facility that fulfills the need for both ongoing care and companionship.
  4. Isolation can increase a senior’s risk for a variety of medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, cardiac arrest, weakened immune system and cognitive decline. Additionally, socially isolated seniors have a negative outlook towards life and are pessimistic about the future.

Transportation challenges, loss of a spouse (a loved one), physical and geographic isolation are major risk factors of social isolation and loneliness. Figure out ways to engage more since lonely people are more likely to indulge in unhealthy behavior.

Technology, physical activity, volunteering, taking a class (computer training, exercise classes) can help you fight and overcome isolation.

Book a suite at Anthem Senior Living in Phoenix, AZ to ensure your senior loved one’s well-being since assisted facilities foster an environment that gives residents opportunity to bond over various activities and events available throughout the day.