Loneliness and the Elderly

Elder Care Lexington NC

Elder Care Lexington NCLoneliness is becoming an epidemic, particularly among elders. As families become fragmented, the rise in those 65 and over who live alone is astounding—46 percent of women in America. In addition to a loss of close family members, the elderly face the loss of the social network that work provided. They may find their friends moving away to be with family or to senior communities. Loss of mobility or health issues may limit their ability to get out into the community or to social functions.

What Loneliness Brings

The affects of loneliness on elders includes declining physical and mental health. It increases the risk of depression and can lead to poor lifestyle choices such as overeating, indulging in alcohol or nicotine, and loss of interest in daily activities and exercise. These choices can then lead to increased high blood pressure and chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia or arthritis. The vicious cycle needs breaking.

How to Help

Family members may not always be in a position to visit their aging parent on a regular basis. Distance, time, or job responsibilities can hinder even the best of intentions. There are, however, alternatives that can help your parent remain socially engaged as they age.

Transportation. Lack of transportation is one of the main culprits behind isolation. Fortunately, it is also one that is easily remedied. Many communities offer free rides for elders via a local volunteer organization. If they are fortunate enough to have a public transportation service in their area, many offer senior discounts. Elder care providers offer transportation in addition to their other services. They can also accompany your parent on their first few public transportation outings in order to get them comfortable with the process. The local senior community center is a good source of information regarding senior transportation options.

Health Issues. Health issues such as impaired hearing or vision, incontinence, memory loss, lack of mobility or the need for oxygen supplementation may cause your parent to remain at home out of fear. Set an appointment up with their primary care physician to ensure that everything that can be done about these common problems is in place. Make sure they are comfortable with their walker, have the necessary incontinence products and the appropriate aids to support their hearing and vision.

Support Groups. Support groups can be found in just about every aspect of living from specific diseases such as Alzheimer’s to life-changing circumstances like loss of a loved one. If there is a need, there is a support group. Many produce life-long friendships. Your local hospital, library and senior community center are good resources when considering options.

Elder Care Provider. An elder care provider can not only assist with the daily activities of living, they can provide that all-important companionship so vital to the health and well-being of your aging parent.

Resources:  https://www.caring.com/articles/aging-and-loneliness-epidemic

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Lexington NC, please contact the caring staff at Tender Hearted Home Care today. (704) 612-4132.

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