Today, an increasing number of seniors nationwide live alone. Under normal circumstances, this can take a toll on their physical and mental health and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, these seniors may find themselves more isolated than ever before. Pre-pandemic, friends and family members can check in on seniors regularly, and seniors are able to get their daily dose of socialization by walking down to the grocery store or while running errands. As the pandemic continues to affect lives worldwide, the detrimental effects of loneliness on seniors become more poignant than ever. Read on to find out how loneliness affects seniors.
Encourages Unhealthy Habits
A study has found that seniors who live alone are more likely to partake in unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking excessively and neglecting to exercise. These habits can result in decreased overall health, and be the start of a vicious cycle. Loneliness can push seniors to wallow in negative feelings and depression, in turn pushing them to find release elsewhere. As their feelings of loneliness amplify over time, they can become more reliant on these unhealthy habits as emotional crutches.
Higher Risk of Cognitive Decline
It has been reported that lonely seniors are at higher risk of cognitive decline than seniors who keep themselves occupied through meaningful social interactions. There are two possible explanations for this. Seniors who are socially isolated often do not have much to occupy their day or time with. When conversing with someone or volunteering, for instance, you are exercising a part of your brain. With nothing to do, the brain is unable to keep active. Another reason lonely seniors are more likely to experience cognitive decline is because their symptoms may remain unnoticed until a later stage. Early detection and intervention can go a long way in improving a senior’s prognosis.
Higher Instances of Elder Abuse
Seniors are a vulnerable group when it comes to abuse, particularly financial abuse. When seniors are completely reliant on a single person as a caregiver, they may feel reluctant to report abuse and risk losing the only person who is available to care for them. Others may feel uncomfortable reporting abuse without a loved one around. Regardless of the reasons, it remains a fact that elder abuse is more prevalent when seniors are socially isolated, leaving them more vulnerable to scammers.
Be Surrounded with Socialization Opportunities at Conservatory At Plano
You may already be aware that loneliness is unhealthy for seniors. If you are considering making the move to a senior living community where there are socialization opportunities aplenty, Conservatory At Plano is the right choice for you. We offer a packed calendar of activities and events that range from classes and clubs to fitness programs and themed dances. You will never have a chance to feel alone or bored when you are surrounded by friendly neighbors and supportive team members. If you would like more information about our community or senior living program, please feel free to schedule a tour with us.