Loneliness is a common struggle seniors face, and one that has more than an emotional impact. Loneliness and isolation can also affect cognitive and physical health. A study published by National Institutes of Health found that loneliness in adults over age 60 can lead to decreased participation in activities of daily living, decline in mobility and increased risk of death. In addition, the impact of loneliness can lead to increased risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia and a higher likelihood of depression, anxiety and/or stress.
Understanding the impacts of loneliness in our older loved ones is only part of the solution. How can we combat feelings of isolation and help our loved ones live a happier more fulfilled life as they age? It’s critical that we learn to recognize the common behavioral and physical signs of loneliness, which include persistent sadness and lack of motivation or energy. Early intervention can have a positive impact on quality of life. Loneliness that is not addressed quickly can lead to more serious problems. Lessening the effects of loneliness may be as simple as increasing social activities and connection.
Here are a few suggestions to help fight loneliness:
- Take advantage of technology to connect with family and friends.
- Pursue shared interests with others, such as gardening or book club.
Play games at home, online or at a local community center.
- Join a local exercise class.
- Be active in your faith community.
- Arrange Meals on Wheels and other social visits to your home.
Transitioning into senior housing including memory care can create an environment that fosters community and relationships, helping to prevent the feelings of loneliness and isolation faced by so many people living with dementia. ~
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Mandy Quinn with The Cottages at Chapel Creek. She may be reached at 972-464-2757.
#sbbdfw #sbbdallas #seniorsbluebook #loneliness #seniorcitizen