Seniors often face mounting isolation which can cause a range of mental health issues. Caregivers and loved ones must be able to recognize the signs of isolation and declining mental health so they can protect seniors and get them the care they need. Seniors need to be a part of a community that will allow them to remain active and socialize with others. This guide will help caregivers better understand the steps they can take so seniors are not socially isolated.
Socialization Is Essential for Seniors
Multiple studies have been conducted on the effects of social isolation on seniors. One study showed around 25% of seniors feel lonely regularly. When seniors are isolated, dangerous mental health issues may arise. It is important seniors have a community they can rely on to help them feel less lonely.
Seniors often find themselves staying home alone. They lose touch with family and friends as they age, making it more difficult for them to experience socialization as often as needed. It is essential seniors get involved in activities that will help stimulate their minds and keep them healthy.
Understanding the Dangers of Social Isolation for Seniors
It is important to first make a clear distinction between loneliness and true isolation. Every senior citizen experiences some degree of loneliness at times, but this does not mean they are socially isolated. Isolation is defined as a state where a senior has very few or no social relationships. Individuals must be aware of the dangers of social isolation so they can take action to avoid the consequences. The following are some of the top dangers that must be understood for seniors.
- High blood pressure is a condition that can affect seniors when they are socially isolated.
- Many seniors experience a high degree of depression because of social isolation.
- Seniors also often experience a weakened immune system that makes them more prone to developing illnesses.
- Cognitive declines are also common when seniors are socially isolated.
- Anxiety is another danger of social isolation for seniors.
- Some seniors experience death as a result of social isolation.
While anyone can suffer from social isolation, seniors are more prone to being alone. They may lose a spouse or experience health declines that prevent them from being active. Many seniors end up needing memory care services so they can avoid cognitive declines that occur with social isolation.
Humans Are Social By Nature
Human beings are social creatures. They need social interaction for their physical and mental health. Because of the pandemic, many seniors are now more socially isolated than ever before. Caregivers need to be aware of the signs of social isolation problems in seniors. If the following are noticed, intervention may be necessary.
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Cognitive declines
- Difficulty performing daily tasks
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Drastic changes in weight or appetite
- Loss of interest in socialization
Should caregivers notice any of these signs, it is wise to talk to the senior and find out if they are experiencing social isolation. Unfortunately, the above signs can tend to worsen over time, leading to serious health concerns. Immediate intervention is necessary for helping seniors overcome the problems they are experiencing with social isolation.
What Can Seniors Do If They Are Experiencing Loneliness?
Loneliness is a big part of social isolation. When seniors cannot get out and socialize or have visitors, they will begin to experience a wide array of mental and physical health symptoms. If a senior is feeling isolated, they need to talk to a trusted friend, family member, or a doctor.
Seniors can also move into memory care living communities that allow them to take part in regular social activities. When seniors are surrounded by other residents, they feel much less stress, anxiety, and depression.
These communities foster socialization opportunities daily. Family members can rest assured their senior loved one is safe and being cared for properly at all times. Families are encouraged to visit and take part in the daily activities that are planned for the senior residents. With familial involvement, seniors will find better health.
Discover More Information
Seniors need social interaction to help them remain healthy and to protect their wellbeing. It is important caregivers explore their options and learn as much as possible about the senior communities that are available to them. These communities can be a lifesaver for seniors.
At Summerfield of Redlands, we provide a socially stimulating environment for all our senior residents. Here, seniors thrive and enjoy spending time with other residents. With a beautiful campus, we ensure our senior residents are safe and secure.