Some elderly have no choice but to live alone. It could be because they are unmarried, have less family and friends, or don’t belong to a religious, community, or social organization. They also don’t want to live in an assisted living community or are unable to afford the costs. However, older adults living alone can be worrying for friends and family due safety and a few other reasons. Here are some of the reasons why social isolation in the elderly is undesirable.
Anxiety and Depression
Generally, anxiety is a feeling of unease due to excessive nervousness and fear. The physical symptoms can include nausea, shortness of breath, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, heart palpitations, and chest pain. It is a common problem in the elderly as they may worry too much about death or suffer from chronic medical conditions. Social isolation can worsen the feeling of anxiety since they don’t have family and friends to communicate with regularly to ease their worries.
Depression is a mood disorder that consists of feelings of loss, anger, and sadness, thus disrupting one’s daily living activities. Depression is also another common issue faced by older adults who are forced to live alone. As they are deprived of a supportive social network, the early telltale signs of depression would often go unnoticed and left untreated.
Typically, falls in aging adults are a prevalent cause of injuries globally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least three million older adults suffer fall injuries in the United States in a year. If your loved one is living alone in social isolation, any occurrence of an injury or a fall can be a serious worry as there isn’t anyone to help.
Poor Overall Health
Social isolation over a prolonged period can also result in poor overall health. Studies have shown that social isolation can bring about detrimental impacts such as worsened cardiovascular health, sleep problems, and emotional issues. Other risk factors that contribute to social isolation would be suffering from a cognitive decline and growing physically ill or frail.
Deterioration in either body or mind significantly affects the abilities of older adults to interact with family and friends outside their homes in a meaningful manner.
In general, having poorer overall health would most likely lead to an increase in mortality rates. A study has proven that the elderly who live in social isolation saw a 29 percent increase in mortality rate. The health of aging adults is massively affected by such ill consequences of social isolation.
Live and Thrive at Rittenhouse Village At Lehigh Valley
Here at Rittenhouse Village At Lehigh Valley, we have varying senior living options for your unique needs. No matter the option that’s preferred, our professional and dedicated team members will ensure our residents’ needs are met and they live in comfort. On top of that, we have a myriad of amenities as well as activities and events that encourage your loved ones to stay active and socialize with others.
Do reach out to us today to enquire about eligibility for our programs.