In 2011, Dr. Renee Meyer and Dr. Dean Schuyler released an article discussing loneliness and isolation in seniors. The big takeaway was that findings show isolation and loneliness affect a senior’s physical and mental health. Seniors who don’t socialize often have a “poor quality of life.”
In many situations, once a senior stops being able to drive around town, isolation and loneliness set in. How often does your mom see friends or spend time with others her age? Unless she still drives, odds are high that she’s not as social as she used to be. You should be concerned…
What the Study Found
The doctors took a close look at one patient in particular. After he could no longer drive due to an increased fall risk, the 75-year-old man had to rely on his caregiver or daughter for rides. When his daughter went out of town for an extended period of time, it paired with his caregiver’s wedding. No one was available to drive him, so he stopped going out.
Once this happened, he also started to take his medications only when he felt like it. He started falling more frequently and even called a helpline to say he was considering committing suicide. Once his daughter learned of his suicidal thoughts, she took action. His health and mental well-being improved.
In this three-year study, the doctors found that seniors who lack socialization also suffer from decreased motor function skills. Cognitive skills decline. Depression often set in. If corrective measures are not taken, health and well-being continue to decline.
What Can You Do?
The most important thing is to make sure your mom is getting plenty of social opportunities. If you can’t take her out, see if a sibling, friend, or home care agency can. See what’s on the calendar of events in your mom’s town. If there is a senior center, look into its calendar. There may be group outings, luncheons, dances, or book reading groups that your mom will love.
Take at least one day a week and spend the day with your mom. Take her shopping. Explore a museum together. You could always pack a lunch and go to the beach for the day. Just make sure you visit regularly so that she has that to look forward to.
Hire an elderly care provider to come spend time with your mom at least once a week. Make sure the caregiver stays for a meal, as seniors tend to eat better when someone joins them at the dinner table. Call a home care agency today to learn more about the ways socialization benefits your mom.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring elderly care in Hyde Park, OH, please contact the caring staff at Queen City Elder Care today. Serving Cincinnati and Surrounding Communities. Call Us Today (513) 510-4410.
Michele Vollmer is a visionary leader who is perpetually searching for ways to improve, so to remain at the leading edge of the home care industry.She has served in the healthcare industry since 1989, including pharmaceutical and home health sales, as well as hospice sales and sales management.
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