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5 Ways Social Isolation Affects Elderly Health

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Effects of Social Isolation on a Senior's Health in Arkansas, AR

Socialization is one of the most overlooked components of senior care. While spending time with friends may seem like a luxury, there are many seniors who go days without talking to anyone. Here are a few reasons your aging loved one needs regular social interaction to preserve his or her health.

1. Isolated Seniors Are More Likely to Be Malnourished

Seniors need to eat nutrient-rich meals to counteract the changes that occur with the digestive system. However, seniors who don’t have someone to eat with may start to skip meals or choose unhealthy options that are easier to prepare. If no one visits your loved one regularly, any changes in weight or behaviors that indicate malnutrition may go unnoticed until reaching a dangerous state.

An expert caregiver can provide companionship and help your parent remain independent. 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 Conway homecare. Services our caregivers provide include 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.

2. Loneliness Is Associated with Alcoholism and Drug Misuse

Spending days alone is bad for anyone’s emotional health, and seniors sometimes try to cover up their feelings of loneliness by turning to drugs or alcohol. Your loved one may be at risk of drug or alcohol misuse if he or she has had an addiction in the past or has recently sustained a loss. Make sure to surround your loved one with multiple opportunities to talk to other people to prevent this issue. Professional caregivers and counselors are options for helping your loved one learn how to manage the emotional aspects of living alone.

3. Isolation Leads to Faster Rates of Cognitive Decline

Your loved one needs to talk to people regularly to maintain the ability to think and communicate effectively. Seniors who stop talking to other people often lose their cognitive abilities faster than those who socialize. Provide your loved one with opportunities to talk to other people, and encourage him or her to learn new things. Senior classes, family events, and home visitors are all ideas to help you start planning to keep your loved one engaged.

4. Lonely Seniors Lose Their Motivation for Health Maintenance

Taking medicine, exercising, and eating right all take work. Seniors need to know there are people who care about them to stay motivated for taking care of their health. Make sure someone asks about your loved one’s wellbeing regularly. When seniors know a grandchild is looking forward to seeing them or a caregiver is rooting for them to hit a health goal, they’re more likely to work hard to boost their health.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Hot Springs, AR, 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.

5. Seniors Who Live Alone Are More Likely to Experience a Serious Injury

Isolation causes feelings of desperation. While your loved one may know he or she shouldn’t climb up on a ladder or walk across a slippery floor, he or she may do so out of the understanding that no one else is there to help. For a senior who is isolated, a fall-related injury could be devastating since it could be hours or days before anyone knows what happened. Provide your loved one with regular care services to ensure he or she is never forced to do something unsafe just because no one else is there.

Whether your loved one craves regular companionship or needs someone to assist with daily chores, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Little Rock, AR, respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. Contact Home Care Assistance today at (501) 764-1312 to schedule a free in-home consultation.