How to prevent seniors from being isolated
The aging of the population is indeed a reality, but when it comes to seniors, everything doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a scenario of limitations, solitude, illness and institutions.
Instead, an active, satisfying life should be the norm for most seniors.
However, this is only possible if they can continue living in their own homes as long as possible, but without being isolated or sacrificing the care they need.
The source of ill-being for many seniors
When seniors begin losing their ability to take care of themselves or their health begins to fail, the natural reaction of concerned family members is often to initiate the process of placing them in some sort of long-term care facility. It’s completely understandable.
On the other hand, placement can take a long time, so the senior and caretakers, alike, must be able to wait it out. Everyone’s in reactive mode and home care becomes indispensable.
Contrary to what you might think, isolation doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens gradually over the years, as we pass through the various stages of our lives.
The death of a spouse, retirement from the workforce, the absence of family members, the loss of friends, difficulty in communicating and illness are all situations that can have a significant impact on our lives as we age.
Indeed, gerontology studies show that being alone and the resulting feelings of solitude can lead to psychological distress, withdrawal and sadness.
These conditions, in turn, lead to nutritional disorders, difficulty sleeping, increased stress and anxiety, depression and cardiovascular problems.
Interaction can be rejuvenating
Breaking the cycle of isolation isn’t always easy. While some people are inclined to join community groups, do volunteer work or participate in activities organized by institutions in their area, others have no interest whatsoever in these things.
Age, illness and physical or mental condition can also hinder social interaction and jeopardize personal well-being. But what can be done to prevent any further isolation?
Home care services can be an excellent solution to help seniors maintain social and intellectual stimulation. In fact, personal care and companionship services based on the person’s needs could be much more beneficial than placement in a long-term care facility.
The key is interaction with other people. Whether we’re 15, 40 or 85, we all need cognitive stimulation, social interaction and a little bit of human warmth.
While simple conversation (even on the phone) and a little attention might be enough for some, the fact remains that there are many other ways to save individuals from solitude. An in-home caregiver will make sure they have plenty of opportunities to spread their wings through a variety of activities, including the following:
- Cooking together;
- Getting out of the house, for example, to go shopping, go for a walk or attend a community gathering, with the aid of transportation service;
- Playing games that stimulate memory, reflexes, thought, etc.;
- Engaging in physical activities designed to help maintain good health;
- And much more.
That’s why in-home support services, coupled with companionship, can help counteract isolation in seniors and pave the way to well-being.
When it comes to combating isolation, the frequency of the interactions with others matters more than the length.
Companionship is the key to ensuring that a senior’s life is active, serene and gratifying! Elite Comfort, a trusted partner for more than 10 years.