Social isolation is a growing epidemic among seniors. It appears that as people age, the number of people they come into contact or interact with decrease. And it’s a pressing concern because according to Utah health experts, isolation is one of the top causes of depression and malnutrition in the elderly. These are the main factors that drive seniors to isolation:
Major Life Changes
Retirement is a big life transition. While others are excited about going to places and picking up new hobbies, some struggle with the idea of leaving work, the things they’ve done every day for the last 10 or so years. They feel the pressure of knowing what to do next in this phase of their life. All these contribute to seniors just choosing to isolate themselves.
Furthermore, since most adult relationships are formed in the workplace, retirement would mean seeing colleagues and friends less, losing their connections with these networks. Of course, there’s also the fact that a lot of the people in their social circles have already passed away or are battling illnesses.
Some seniors are passionate to live bold and vibrant in their twilight years, but when they try to do something that interests them, the people around them make quick judgments about what they can do. They would hear statements, like “you’re too old for this and that!” — and often, in discouragement, they just give in to what’s expected of them.
What concerned family members do is they find social support groups that their elderly loved ones could relate to and draw inspiration from. Some motivate seniors to go into assisted living communities; Farmington facilities, for instance, offer opportunities for people to socialize in different scheduled programs, like exercise and crafts.
Mobility and Financial Issues
In some instances, it’s the fact that they could no longer move freely and go to different places due to health issues that they’re unable to maintain connections with social circles. Or, sometimes, it’s the lack of enough money that keeps them from traveling. Not being able to leave the house drives them to choose to embrace isolation.
The best way to combat this growing epidemic of social isolation among the elderly is to keep communication lines open, checking up on them every now and then and supporting them in their interests. If you could provide a companion for them, that would help a great deal in helping them deal with the struggles that come with aging.