An unspoken health risk for the elderly is senior isolation. This occurs when a senior, defined as someone over the age of 65, lives in some isolation from society. There are a number of causes for senior isolation. One of them is the loss of a spouse or other housemate, as deaths, divorce, and children leaving the nest combine. Another is reduced mobility, whether because fading eyesight makes driving difficult or because walking has become more challenging. Many seniors begin to make incremental adjustments as physical capabilities change, so that isolation can creep up on them. By the time they are aware of it, they may feel like asking for help is showing vulnerability.
What are the effects?
However, senior isolation can have some pretty serious impacts on the emotional and physical health of seniors. Isolated seniors are less likely to access all of the resources at their disposal; may not get prompt attention for medical conditions; have a higher risk of high blood pressure; are more likely to suffer from depression; are more likely to be malnourished; even have a higher risk of dementia than seniors who are not isolated from society. The impact of the isolation is cumulative; not only are isolated seniors more likely to develop these medical conditions, but they are less likely to receive prompt and effective treatment and interventions once conditions develop because of the isolation.
Review your assisted living options
One of the primary reasons that people transition to senior living communities is to help combat senior isolation. While in-home care can provide many of the same basic services that people get in a senior living facility, even the best caretakers cannot provide the same level of stimulation and companionship that seniors can find in adult care facilities.
At Chelsea Senior Living Bald Eagle in West Milford, New Jersey, one of our primary goals is to ensure that our community members remain active and engaged in their community. We have a number of different community involvement opportunities, which have been selected and designed to meet the evolving physical and mental needs of senior adults. While new friends cannot replace lifelong relationships, they can provide the companionship, friendship, and support that people need to continue to thrive, well into their golden years.
Senior living facilities are not the right choice for every senior or every family. However, choosing the right facility can make a tremendous difference. We welcome you to give us a call and schedule a tour or even a short-stay at Chelsea Bald Eagle, to help you make the right choice for you and your family.