Years of research reveals that chronic loneliness is bad for a person’s health. Not only does it affect mental health, but it can have a devastating effect on physical wellness. Seniors are one of the highest risk groups for isolation and loneliness, and a recent study published by International Psychogeriatrics reveals that intense loneliness often peaks for adults in their late 80’s. Hiring an elder care provider may be one of the best ways to combat loneliness at this age.
Dangers of Loneliness and Isolation
Any family caregiver with an elderly relative in this demographic should be aware of the negative effects of loneliness and the serious health issues that can arise with seniors. Acute loneliness is a leading contributor to deteriorating mental health in elderly adults and can even accelerate the onset of depression and dementia.
Physically, loneliness has some negative health effects as well. It generates a state of chronic stress, which is hard on the heart and the immune system, making the aging adult weaker and more prone to illness. It’s vitally important that family caregivers don’t allow their aging relative to become isolated and lonely.
How Elder Care Providers Can Help
Because many elderly adults report a big increase in their isolation and loneliness in their late 80s, it’s an ideal time for family caregivers to hire an elder care provider to assist their aging loved one. Not only will the elder care provider help with duties around the house, but they can be a companion when the senior would otherwise be alone. In fact, an elder care provider can be the way by which seniors develop a more robust social life.
At home, elder care providers can be a compassionate and engaged companion, helping the aging adult develop interests and hobbies that boost their self-esteem and stimulate their brain. Together, the elder care provider and the aging adult can try new recipes, take online classes, do home improvement projects, plant a container garden and any number of other activities together. Even eating meals together will provide the aging adult with some social connections and make daily life more pleasant.
The elder care provider can drive them to medical appointments, family events, social gatherings with friends and local activities that they would otherwise not be able to attend. From museums and community theater productions to volunteer opportunities and common errands, elderly adults can
There are so many factors that contribute to chronic loneliness that are out of an elderly adult’s control. Having an elder care provider as a companion can transform their daily life from one of isolation to one of involvement. Family caregivers should investigate the possibilities of hiring an elder care provider for their elderly loved one right away.