In recent years there have been studies showing that the risk of health issues, including death, increases when people feel isolated and alone. For seniors, the risk of these feelings increases tremendously, ultimately increasing the risk of serious health and mortality concerns. In home care is one of the most potent means of alleviating feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Part of the isolation and loneliness some seniors feel isn’t necessarily due to living along, because there are plenty of these men and women living with family or friends who still experience loneliness. It can be about feeling safer remaining at home as opposed to going out in public.
According to the NPR (National Public Radio) blog, Easing Old People’s Loneliness Can Help Keep Them Healthy, written by Anna Gorman:
Cathy Michalec, the executive director of the local nonprofit, said older adults often become less mobile as they age. Cities like San Francisco, because of hills, crowded streets or old housing stock, are difficult for many seniors. That can lead to isolation and loneliness, Michalec said.
“Those 50 stairs you used to be able to go up and down all the time, you can’t go up and down all the time,” she said. “The streets are crowded and sometimes unsafe. … Sometimes, our elders say, it’s easier to stay in the house.”
Some people, when they reach retirement, have a difficult time with that transition. They don’t know what to do with all of that extra time and when they no longer interact with others as they had in their younger years it can be disconcerting.
Hiring a home care aide is a great way for many of these seniors to get the support and companionship they need. Many people immediately think about in home care support as being only for those seniors who are unable to get up and down stairs or who have difficulty getting out of bed or into and out of the shower, but a caregiver can simply be hired for emotional support.
By providing seniors the opportunity to have comfort and companionship, it may a direct impact on their health, quality of life, and activity level. It’s important to share this information (and some of the studies that support these claims) with seniors and their family so they can begin to contemplate these options before they become a necessity, when these families suddenly feel desperate and wish they had done something sooner to help.