Social Isolation in Seniors

Senior isolation in seniors is a growing as well as serious epidemic across the nation. As many as 1/3 of all the elderly live alone, and for various reasons (limited mobility, chronic health concerns, and loss of friends and family, just to identify a few) socialization can be extremely challenging to maintain.

As a matter of fact, the consequences of isolation in older adults have been shown to be as damaging to their health as smoking 15 cigarettes daily, with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even premature death, as reported by research carried out by the National Institute for Health Care Management.

It is also essential to understand the key differences when considering isolation and loneliness. As the late John T. Cacioppo, Ph.D., former director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago details, social isolation is “the objective physical separation from other people (living alone),” whereas loneliness is “the subjective distressed feeling of being alone or separated.” Accordingly, an older adult can feel lonely even if surrounded by friends and family, while another may spend a lot of time alone, but not feel lonely.

Both loneliness and social isolation are risk factors for health issues, and intervention to increase socialization is a must. The good news is that older adults whose lives tend to be more social reap numerous health benefits, including in the aspects of:

  • Cognition: Socialization provides the means for a release of worry and strengthened mental health, which are shown to favorably affect memory and help prevent cognitive decline.
  • Emotional Health: The risk of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem is diminished for people who are socially engaged, supplying a sense of belonging and improved handling of mental health concerns.
  • Physical Health: Exercise is central to enhancing physical health in senior loved ones, and those who sustain social bonds are more inclined to stay physically active and engaged.

In addition to that, social seniors have even demonstrated an ability to have a lengthier lifespan as opposed to those who are more isolated.

At Anthem Home Care,  a trusted provider of home care assistance in Portland and nearby areas, we are helping the elderly throughout the area to overcome loneliness and isolation, by providing professional, experienced, friendly, and compassionate caregivers who offer much-needed companionship through:

  • Conversations and reminiscing
  • Exercise programs
  • Arts/crafts and other enjoyable hobbies and interests
  • Transportation to fun outings in the community
  • Sharing mealtimes together
  • And so much more

Help an older adult you love discover a more socially-enriched lifestyle! Give us a call at 361-643-2323 for a free in-home consultation to learn more about Anthem Home Care’s top-rated home care assistance in Portland and the surrounding areas.