It is important to know that seniors who don’t keep in touch with their community and who live life by themselves are at a higher risk of developing various health issues. Isolation has been marked as one of the most significant health risks for older adults.
Most people know that isolation can lead to depression, but the matter goes deeper than that. Seniors who are lonely often have heart issues. They tend to be obese, have problems with blood pressure, diabetes, and eventually succumb to depression. Their peers who lead more engaged lives have fewer issues with the conditions we named above. What’s even worse, the elderly who live in isolation are more prone to becoming victims of scams and fraud.
Because of all this, it is essential to know the reasons behind isolation and what leads to it. Learn how to prevent it if your loved one is heading in that direction.
What Causes Isolation Among the Elderly?
There are many things that can cause isolation in older adults, and here we are going to talk about the most common ones:
- Transportation Challenges
- Limited Finances
- Mobility Issues
- Loss of Loved Ones
Most seniors find it hard to adjust to public transportation once they lose the ability to drive by themselves. Struggling with public transportation among seniors happens more often than you think. Because of this, some elderly adults decide to stay home, which limits the time they spend socializing.
Fixed incomes are a reality for the majority of older adults. When budgets are tight, many can’t find enough resources to spend on their friends and family, which leads to them avoiding encounters that could force them to spend money they don’t have.
Impaired mobility will lead to social isolation in the majority of cases when it happens. If seniors have balance issues or need to use an assistive device, they will naturally feel safer in surroundings they know. Seniors who have problems with mobility live in constant fear that they could get more injured in another fall.
Loss of Loved Ones
Most elderly will enter isolation when the circle of their acquaintances starts to get smaller. In situations where seniors live far away from their children and grandchildren, this is even more expressed. So when friends they spent most of their lives with start to pass away, many seniors start living in fear of death. The situation is graver if in a short period a couple of their close loved ones pass away. Living with a feeling that you are left alone and might be next in line almost always leads to health complications.
How to Prevent Isolation in the Elderly
The best thing you can do for your loved one if you want to help them avoid isolation is to know and identify risk factors and then put in work to overcome them. Here’s how you can do that:
- Transportation Solutions
- Friendly Visitor Programs
- Virtual Chat
If your loved one has a prejudice towards public transportation, it is vital for you to help them. You can use it with them for a while until they get used to it, or sign your loved one up to senior center groups that help them overcome public transportation issues.
Friendly Visitor Programs
If your loved one doesn’t leave the house due to a medical condition, you can help them by arranging frequent visits from friends and family.
Thanks to technological advancements, these days you can stay in touch with your loved one on a daily basis through the use of mobile devices, the internet, and various social networks and apps.
Featured Image Source: www.pexels.com