Facebook Pixel How Social Isolation Impacts Elderly Health

How Does Social Isolation Affect Senior Health?

By , 9:00 am on

Socializing is often viewed as one of life’s little extras that people get to do during their free time. However, social ties play a huge role in helping seniors stay physically and mentally healthy. If your loved one lives alone or has begun to become isolated from others, you need to be aware of the following reasons to help him or her rebuild a social network.

Faster Rates of Cognitive Decline

Talking to other people requires using cognitive abilities to do things such as remember a funny story to share or call other people by their names. Your loved one also learns new things when socializing with people from diverse backgrounds. While it may just look like fun, sharing a recipe or taking part in a class can reduce your loved one’s chances of experiencing severe memory loss or dementia.

Increased Vulnerability to Elderly Abuse

Scammers and other abusers look for elderly people who spend most of their time alone because they know they can prey on seniors’ loneliness. For instance, seniors may be tempted to talk to scammers if they haven’t talked to anyone else in days. Elderly abuse is also more devastating for seniors who don’t have people checking in on them, since it can go on for much longer before it’s caught. Make sure you or another caregiver check in on your loved one regularly through the week to ensure nefarious people aren’t taking advantage of him or her.

Reduced Motivation to Take Care of Physical Health

It takes serious motivation for seniors to exercise and perform daily tasks such as bathing when they experience chronic pain or other health issues. However, knowing they have a special event to get ready for may be all it takes to get motivated to get out of bed and get dressed. Seniors who have frequent social contacts are also more likely to eat better, exercise, and abstain from unhealthy habits such as drinking too much alcohol. 

If seniors don’t take care of their physical health for long periods, serious illness could result and leave them unable to care for themselves on their own. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Birmingham, AL, live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.

Greater Risk of Developing an Emotional Illness

Loneliness and depression go hand in hand. After all, most people start to feel sad if they have no one to share their triumphs and burdens with each day. Seniors may also worry excessively about things that are out of their control when they’re unable to vent their emotions. Try to remember that even a brief phone call or lunch visit once a week is helpful for preventing emotional illnesses in seniors who live alone. 

Many seniors experience physical and emotional challenges, but they don’t have to face them without help. In Birmingham, senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Higher Chances of a Chronic Health Condition

Between the higher frequency of negative emotions and a lack of motivation to follow healthy lifestyle habits, seniors often experience health consequences that further deepen the impact of isolation. Help your loved one avoid developing heart disease from living a sedentary lifestyle by making sure he or she has someone to go on outings with, or help him or her with an exercise routine. Socially active seniors also tend to be physically active, which goes a long way toward boosting their health.

Social isolation is only one of many health issues that can challenge seniors who live alone. A caregiver can help your loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance Birmingham can address these and many other health-related concerns. We can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (205) 438-6927 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.