What senior caregivers can do to prevent isolation

Senior caregivers in Brookline and Boston MA never want their loved ones to feel isolated or lonely. Unfortunately for many seniors, this is a feeling that they know very well. As people age, they lose touch with friends, their children move away, and sometimes they can even be experiencing difficulty leaving their homes to socialize. All of these scenarios will contribute to the feeling of loneliness and isolation in seniors.

Seniors are considered isolated if they never go out of the house, live alone, never visit anyone, have no close relatives, have no phone, no contact with neighbors, or are alone for more than 9 hours per day. They can be considered to be lonely if they do not see enough of their relatives or friends, wish for more friends, have no real friends living nearby, no confidence, no one to ask for a favor, do not meet enough people, or have spent the holidays lonely and alone. A lot of seniors will meet most, if not all, of the scenarios. Social isolation can also lead to additional health issues.

The risk of Alzheimer’s disease can increase: Cognitive decline can be a risk factor that is caused by loneliness. This can be because an isolated senior will have less stimulation, or their symptoms are unlikely to be reported before the Alzheimer’s disease progresses.

The dangers of loneliness and isolation: Many experts consider loneliness to be as dangerous as obesity or smoking. Isolation amongst seniors can encourage an unhealthy lifestyle, complicate existing conditions, and affect cognition.

Isolation can increase unhealthy habits: Bad habits can often result from social isolation. Seniors who are lonely are more susceptible to start drinking excessively, smoke and neglect the need for any physical activity.

Higher instances of elder abuse: An isolated senior can be more likely to fall victim to financial abuse and scammers. Neglect is also likely to go unnoticed. Seniors are unlikely to report any physical abuse without a trusted family member. They may also feel that they have to protect their abuser if they do not have another caregiver.

What can family members do to prevent or reduce the impact of isolation?

Family members can do their part to help conquer their senior family member’s isolation by being closer to them and paying attention to any signs that may be indicating their loved one’s well-being may be deteriorating.

If a senior family member seems to be isolating themselves or appears to be suffering from loneliness, here are some tips to help them:

  • Visit your family member as often as possible. If your schedule is busy, try making shorter visits more often.
  • Call your loved ones regularly and encourage them to give you a call. Be sure that they can easily reach you. Show interest in their day-to-day life, hobbies, health, and problems that they may be experiencing.
  • Encourage them to stay active by going for walks together or accompanying them when they need to run errands.
  • Offer to help your loved one with housework or personal care. Styling their hair or helping to straighten up the house can give you the opportunity to talk and build your relationship.

Top senior caregivers in Brookline and Boston MA

Senior caregivers can also become vulnerable to loneliness and isolation. A caregiver may feel they are unable to set aside their duties as a caregiver to engage in previous social relationships; this can be the starting point of a downward spiral of depression and isolation.

Our staff at TeamCarer can help prevent and reduce the impact of isolation. We provide team and technology-based care for in-home seniors who need daily living assistance such as bathing, grooming, dressing, personal hygiene, medication reminders, and other care needs. We are a local home health aid services company, with service areas in Boston, Brookline, Newton, Needham, Wellesley, Dedham, Westwood, Norwood, Medfield, Walpole, Canton, and Sharon. Contact us today to get started.