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Fast Facts About Senior Isolation

For seniors, loneliness often occurs when circumstances change, like when kids move away or spouses or close friends pass. According to Tracy home care professionals, increasing isolation can have some surprising effects on seniors over time. Here are some recent findings regarding isolation among elderly family members.

Mortality Rate Increases

A study on isolation among older adults linked a lack of social interaction with an increased mortality rate. Part of the reason for this may be that nobody is around to notice early signs of health conditions that are easier to recover from when treated quickly.

Physical and Mental Health Suffers

Seniors who feel uncared for tend to neglect physical and mental health. These feelings may result in skipping doctor appointments or not taking medications as directed.

Dementia Symptoms Worsen

Lonely seniors without the proper mental stimulation often experience worsening dementia symptoms. Even isolated elderly people without dementia may lose some cognitive abilities without regular engagement.

Likelihood of Elder Abuse Increases

The National Center on Elder Abuse reported that isolated seniors, or seniors isolated on purpose by certain family members, are more susceptible to elder abuse.

Recovery Time Lengthens

Seniors without significant interaction often experience a longer recovery time after returning home from hospitalization or getting over a serious illness.

Depression Risk Increases

Isolation increases the risk of long-term depression. If untreated, depression may lead to general neglect of basic care needs.

Quality of Life Diminishes

Seniors who are lonely or isolated often find it difficult to find joy in life, resulting in a pessimistic view that may cause elderly people to further withdraw from friends and loved ones.

Blood Pressure Rises

A four-year study on seniors and high blood pressure found an increase in systolic blood pressure (when the heart is contracting) among participants reporting feelings of loneliness.

Food Choices Are Poor

Many seniors without social interaction or companionship either skip meals or make unhealthy dietary choices that may worsen conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.

Loss of a Loved One Can Trigger Isolation

Seniors who previously depended on a spouse for support and companionship may experience sudden isolation after he or she passes.

As a leading care provider, we understand you worry about your senior family member’s emotional and mental wellbeing. If you’re concerned about your elderly loved one becoming isolated, reach out to the dedicated staff at Home Care Assistance. We provide hourly and live-in senior care in Tracy, ensuring seniors have the assistance with daily meals, medication reminders, prescription pick-up, help with errands, and–most importantly–emotional support and companionship. Contact a friendly Care Manager today at 209.650.8500 for more information.