Senior social isolation is detrimental to overall mental health, physical health, and personal finances.
In a national study shown by Futurity with a sample of 1,300 older African Americans, Black Caribbean’s, and white individuals. A result of 77 percent of elders always connected to both family and friends, 11 percent were isolated from friends only, and 7 percent were isolated from family members only.
The emotional ticking bomb of isolation waits for the right moment to set off a large health disaster outcome. Sometimes it can take a while for the ticking bomb to show any sign.
Social isolation can cause certain health problems, and these can include:
• An increased number of falls
• An increased risk of all-cause mortality
• An increased risk for dementia
• An increased risk for rehospitalization
About 28% of people aged 65 and older lived alone at the time of the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, and reports show that as more older adults do not have children. There becomes a huge disparity of family members providing company and care for adults that become seniors.
Medical programs such as Medicare show how social isolation can have financial discrepancies. A study found that Medicare spent about $1,600-a-year more on older adults who are socially isolated than those who are not. Highly due to the constant demands of skilled nursing facility after discharge from hospitalization, noting that most socially isolated seniors were most likely to be hospitalized.
Early signs of social isolation can be noted in senior daily activities. A common symptom is the lack of eating and interest of hobbies or interaction. If a senior is lacking pleasure of interests for more than two weeks, then it can be a close association to depression.
According to The Inquirer contributor Richard Grant, A few active and healthy ways in which seniors can maintain a positive connection with their mind is by:
• Getting involved with a local place of worship
• Volunteering for a nonprofit
• Engaging a companion through a home care agency to assist with meal preparation and daily chores
• Adopting a pet
• Enrolling in classes to master a new skill
• Participating in group exercise programs at a local gym
• Relocating to a senior-living environment, such as continuing-care retirement community.
According to researcher Nicholas R. Nicholson, “With a prevalence of over 40% and the sheer number of older persons projected to increase exponentially… social isolation will likely impact the health, well-being and quality of life of numerous older people now and in the foreseeable future.”
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