5 Effects Isolation Can Have on a Senior’s Health

By , 9:00 am on

Changes tend to happen so slowly in the golden years that it’s easy to miss when a senior loved one may have become isolated. For most seniors, all it takes is the loss of a spouse combined with an inability to drive to discover they rarely see anyone else throughout each week. Fortunately, it’s never too late to surround your loved one with caring social support. In fact, making sure your loved one has a companion can prevent these serious issues that isolation could cause for his or her health.

1. Increased Complications from Illnesses and Injuries

When seniors get sick or fall at home, they need help right away. However, your loved one is more likely to ignore a worsening cough or be unable to call for help after a fall when there’s no one else in the home. Having someone check on your loved one every day ensures he or she doesn’t have to wait long for treatment that gets him or her back to better health. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Centennial, CO, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Reduced Motivation to Cultivate Healthy Lifestyle Habits

If your loved one refuses to make positive lifestyle changes, it’s possible he or she is lonely. Seniors sometimes use tobacco or alcohol to soothe the pain of loneliness, or they may decide it’s not worth exercising because nobody cares. While you know this isn’t true, your loved one needs to see that people care about seeing him or her. Find an exercise or lunch partner who can motivate your loved one to change to healthier habits.

3. More Frequent Memory Lapses

The brain needs to be used frequently to keep the neural connections strong. Seniors who go days without talking to other people tend to have poorer cognitive functioning than those who talk to someone several times a week. Whether your loved one engages in a conversation with someone at the grocery store or takes a class, he or she is building and strengthening the connections in the brain that retain memory skills.

4. Lack of Access to Critical Health Care

Isolated seniors usually don’t drive, which causes them to miss important healthcare appointments such as checkups and follow-up exams. Your loved one may also be unable to get prescriptions or attend important therapy appointments. Providing transportation services is like putting the keys for better health back into your loved one’s hands. 

If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Centennial elderly home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

5. Higher Rates of Emotional Health Conditions

Anyone who spends too much time alone is at risk for depression, anxiety, and the exacerbation of other emotional health conditions such as bipolar disorder. Without someone to talk to, your loved one’s stress may build up, and he or she may also spend too much time ruminating on negative thoughts. Companions help seniors stay positive by sharing happy conversations, jokes, and physical affection such as a hand massage or hug.

Since isolation can lead to an array of health complications, it’s important to address it sooner rather than later. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Centennial seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Call Home Care Assistance today at (303) 957-3100 to learn more about our premier in-home senior care.