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Physical & Mental Impact of Isolation on Older Adults

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Isolation is an issue many seniors face, and it has a negative impact on their daily lives and their overall health. Caregivers should find out why their senior loved ones isolate themselves from family and friends and develop a strategy to get them socially active again. Failing to combat isolation can take a mental and physical toll on aging adults and lead to the following health issues. 

Leads to Memory Loss 

Isolation leads to high anxiety and depression, which impacts the way seniors process and store information. Stress prevents blood and oxygen from flowing to the brain, blocking the areas responsible for short and long-term memory. Keeping your loved one active can preserve his or her memory and reduce the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive conditions. When your loved one interacts with others, his or her body will fight against the free radicals that damage brain cells and lead to confusion, forgetfulness, agitation, lack of judgment, and poor critical thinking skills. 

Older adults who need regular socialization and mental stimulation can benefit from professional in-home care. In Omaha, Nebraska, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

Causes Weight Gain 

Seniors who isolate themselves are at a higher risk of gaining weight and becoming obese. Instead of getting the physical activity they need, it is common for aging adults to sit inside of the home and become inactive. Obesity can also put seniors at risk of developing diabetes. When seniors don’t move around as much as they should, their bones may become weak, leading to balance and flexibility issues. When seniors are socially and physically active, they can strengthen their muscles and reduce the risk of developing arthritis, osteoporosis, and other age-related health conditions. 

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality non-medical home care. Omaha families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Impacts Heart Health 

Isolation doesn’t just affect the brain. It also impacts the heart. Poor circulation can increase the risk of various heart issues, including a stroke or heart attack. Encourage your loved one to remain socially active, even if he or she only goes into public a couple of hours each day or attends functions with family and friends on a weekly basis. Your loved one can also take art classes, join a singing group, or volunteer with a local organization. Activities such as these provide the opportunity to meet new people and prevent isolation, which can enhance mental wellbeing and boost heart health. 

Speeds Up the Aging Process 

When your loved one is healthy, he or she can maintain independence and age in place with fewer issues. The depression caused by isolation could lead to a decrease in physical and mental health and speed up the aging process. Isolation can also cause seniors to experience a mental breakdown and become hospitalized. To prevent isolation, create a social schedule for your loved one that includes his or her favorite activities and places to visit. When activities are preplanned, it may be easier for your loved one to follow through. You should also hire an in-home caregiver to provide your loved one with companionship while you are away.

For families living in Omaha, Nebraska, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. Call us at (402) 261-5158 to hire a professionally trained caregiver for your elderly loved one.