When you have someone in your family who is old, you should always keep an eye on them. They tend to need assistance and are more prone to falls and illnesses. One of the many health concerns that are common among older people is loneliness. Although not a physical injury or illness, loneliness can greatly affect the mental health of any adult over 65 years of age. When we age, several factors do contribute to loneliness, which leads to social isolation. Factors such as the death of a life partner, siblings or close friends, or your family members are moving somewhere far away, or a diagnosis of a serious illness can contribute to this serious condition. Some studies showed that loneliness can also cause health-related issues such as the increased risk of mortality and memory-related conditions. That is why we have to understand the risks involved when it comes to loneliness and social isolation in your loved ones and why senior living communities are important for them.
What Causes Loneliness and Social Isolation?
A major U.S. government agency report that more than 28% of citizens who are aged 65 and older live by themselves. While this statistic alone does not necessarily contribute to loneliness in older generation of adults, it is the biggest contributing factor and this percentage is likely to increase. Living alone can be stressful to your loved ones and some of the contributing factors are
- A change in their living environment
- A death of their spouse or partner
- Children or grandchildren moving away from home
- Fear of incurring an injury or illness
- Fear of becoming a burden to other family members
Some of the Negative Health Effects of Loneliness and Social Isolation
Each of the factors above can lead to many negative and serious health effects on your loved ones. That is why we have to take note of these factors before things get too serious or too late. The negative impact that those above factors can be quite damaging and if not taken seriously, it may affect the remaining years of their lives.
- Reduced physical and mental health: Loneliness and social isolation can affect not only their mental health but also their physical well-being. Adults aged over 65 years who feel isolate and lonely are more likely to have poor physical and mental health. Although this statement is still being studied, the link between loneliness and overall health will have a detrimental effect on your loved ones.
- Increased risk of dementia: Memory-related conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s are serious mental disorders. These effects are seen as cognitive decline and cannot be taken lightly. Social isolation is a huge risk factor when it comes to dementia and other memory-related conditions and can contribute to poorer overall cognitive performance and faster decline.
- Increased risk of mortality: Studies have shown that loneliness and social isolation can be associated with an increased risk of mortality, especially in adults who are 52 years and older. This is because adults who lived alone or lack any social interactions are less likely to seek help or medical care when needed.
- Increased risk of depression: Depression is one of the most common types of dangers that your loved ones could develop. It is associated with feelings such as numbness, pain, sadness, and low self-worth.
Consider Us at The Welstone At Mission Crossing for Your Loved One’s Golden Years
If you are thinking of your loved one mental and physical health and well-being, then why not take a look at our amazing community. We offer the freedom of independent senior living, state-of-the-art amenities, and a calendar full of activities so that your loved ones will enjoy their life here with us. Schedule a tour with us now to experience what it is like to stay with us.