Did you know that more than 40% of those age 65 or older have reported feeling alone on a regular basis? Senior isolation is a condition that can affect senior’s mental and physical health. It can lead to serious issues. What’s more, this condition can easily be avoided or remedied.
What is it?
Senior isolation is a lack of social contact that affects seniors. It’s a direct result of living alone, not having visits from family or friends, or even the perceived notion of loneliness. One may not actually be alone, but the feeling could overwhelm the reality. During the holiday season, the number of senior’s that feel lonely go up significantly.
What causes it?
As people age many different changes begin. Children may not visit very much. They may have moved away, so distance is a factor. They may have schedules that are too busy for frequent visits. Whatever the reason, this can lead to senior isolation. Even if a senior has people around them, the feeling of loneliness can still happen. Sometimes it’s the senior that isolates themselves. This could be because it could be troublesome to leave their home. They could have incontinence issues that makes them hesitant to venture too far. The loss of a spouse or other loved one is one of the biggest reasons why feelings of isolation happen.
- Depression – One of the biggest risks is depression. The feeling of loneliness could lead to depression, which can further complicate one’s mental state.
- Increased risk of mortality – If someone is alone, then there are generally less reasons to take medical intervention when something happens. Healthy habits, such as diet and exercise, can be reduced or eliminated completely, thus adding more issues to the senior’s health.
- Increased risk of dementia – The saying ‘use it or lose it’ is a key point in this risk factor. Without stimulation, isolated seniors have an overall increased risk of developing dementia.
What can be done?
- Frequent and meaningful visits – One of the best things that can be done is to have frequent and meaningful visits. Visiting at least once a week or more can be extremely beneficial for reducing feelings of isolation. Also making the visits meaningful will help considerably. Cooking for or with the person, having a good discussion, taking an interest in their pastimes, or going out into the community together.
- Social gatherings – Encouraging social gatherings is very important. Church, senior centers, events, and more can help. If you or your loved one lives at a Bonaventure Senior Living community, there are at least 16 activities a day, which can provide numerous ways to socialize without going too far. There’s also plenty of opportunities for enjoying a meal with people. Encouraging these types of social gatherings can be a huge help in reducing isolation.
- Pets – There are many studies that suggest that seniors that have an animal, like a dog or cat, tend to live longer. Pets can reduce feelings of isolation by giving the senior something to take care of and provide love to.
Senior isolation can be a big problem. Thankfully, it’s easily fixed. If you or your loved one are having feelings of isolation, taking action sooner than later will help to reduce these feelings and their subsequent risk factors. Be well.
Bonaventure Senior Living
At Bonaventure Senior Living, we have Retirement Perfected, Living Perfected, Dining Perfected, and Fitness Perfected. The best way to see for yourself is to Book-A-Tour today and discover how you can live life on your own terms. We specialize in Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care, that way, no matter what your current situation is, we have all levels of care covered if your needs ever change.
With Independent Living, we want you to enjoy Simplified Living, allowing you to have the freedom to do what makes you happy. Our Independent Living is designed to accommodate the exceptional senior lifestyle that you’ve earned. What’s even better, is that with Independent Living we offer whatever supportive services that you may need at any time you may need them. Now that’s Retirement Perfected.
Assisted Living at Bonaventure Senior Living is simple: all the lifestyle benefits of our Independent Living, but with any extra support that you may need. Our philosophy is based on three simple things: choice, independence, and dignity. Now that’s Assisted Living at its finest.
Every senior is a unique person, and our Memory Care approach is no different. We tailor our Memory Care by connecting with family members and taking time to understand each person’s specific circumstances. This includes mental, emotional, and physical health. Our Memory Care creates an honorable and professional plan to make sure that each person lives their life to the fullest. That’s the way Memory Care should be.