Isolation and Seniors: Why It Happens and How to Fix It

For most seniors living at home alone (or with a partner), spring weather is a welcome relief. Here in the Washington, D.C. area, seniors at home tend to stay home more often due to weather conditions in the winter season. Add increased time alone to shortened daylight hours and poor road conditions, and a blooming tulip near a dry sidewalk is a very welcome sight!

Unfortunately, many seniors who live at home alone (or with a partner) are at risk for serious health conditions related to a more isolated lifestyle. While staying in a home they love is certainly the best option for most aging adults, without proper attention to connection with the outside world, isolated seniors can be more prone to conditions like depression, anxiety, and even a lower immune system.

Why are seniors staying isolated in their home? There are various reasons that we see during our time serving older adults throughout our area. Here are a few common ones, along with tips on how to break through the isolation.

Isolation can happen quickly, if not addressed with a plan that includes peer encouragement and home care support.

Physical Limitations

Some seniors tend to stay isolated in their homes due to physical limitations. Older adults are more likely to have chronic pain, as well as mobility issues which could make traversing to a social visit more difficult. To beat back these physical limitations, consider working with a CaringGivers caregiver to give the extra confidence and assistance to get out and about. Our caregivers can help with getting in and out of a car or chair, as well as providing assistance with cueing medication management, which could decrease pain while out.

Emotional Concerns

Some seniors who live at home alone have a tendency to remain isolated because they are more comfortable at home. Depression and anxiety can make going to church or a favorite resturant feel exhausting long before they have even left home. If you feel this could be the barrier for your loved one, talk to their physician first about your concerns. There could be medication or other therapy that could assist with their mental health. Then, allow our caregivers to come alongside your loved one. Our friendly team members can be the familiar face that boosts confidence while out of the home.

Memory Issues

Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia can make going out a challenge for the senior and their family member. However, the caregivers at CaringGivers are trained on dementia techniques and interventions that will keep everyone safe and engaged while enjoying an afternoon out of the house.

Transportation Woes

Finally, some seniors stay isolated at home for the simple fact that they no longer drive or have access to reliable transportation. In our experience, seniors living without access to transportation are often lonely, as they want to go out but cannot. Our team of caregivers can provide reliable rides to and from social groups, grocery stores, or other hot spots in the area.
Isolation is devastating for seniors, but it can be avoided with a little help from our friendly team of caregivers. Give us a call to talk more about your situation and needs; we will develop a plan tailormade for the aging loved one in your life.

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