Did you know that over a million elderly people in England are socially isolated to such an extent, that they sometimes don’t get to talk to family members or friends for as long as a month. This alarming fact has been brought to light by a survey done by Age UK; which states that over two million senior citizens aged 75 and above live alone in the country.
Social isolation can induce feelings of loneliness in the elderly. Moreover, there are a number of dangers associated with it such as risk of slips and falls, developing depression, dementia and higher mortality rates, says an expert at Ashton House Residential and Nursing Home, a renowned name among Hayward’s Heath, Burgess Hill and Brighton nursing homes.
Causes of Social Isolation
Elderly people develop social isolation due to certain circumstances that are common for old age. They may not be having a job to fill their time anymore, their children might have moved away, or their spouses may have passed away sooner in life. In addition, many of them develop ailments that make them less mobile; due to which they’re not able to interact with people on a regular basis, even if they want to make an effort to do so.
How Can Family Members Help The Elderly Avoid Social Isolation?
- We can help our elder family members in forming personal connections and avoiding feelings of loneliness. This can help in negating the risks associated with social isolation.
- Many older people develop incontinence issues due to which they fear leaving their home even for a little while. Family members can help seniors address these issues by appointing a round-the-clock caregiver.
- Experts around the world believe that feelings of being socially isolation can be relieved by nurturing. A pet could be a great gift to them. For those elders who like activities like gardening, there are many workshops that can interest them.
- Encourage them to live in residential care facilities, such as the nursing homes in Burgess Hill and Crawley, West Sussex. Such facilities can give them a proactive and fun environment wherein they can connect with their peers.
- Encouraging religious elders to attend their places of worship regularly gives them ample opportunities for socializing as well as a sense of purpose.
- Many seniors avoid social situations due to difficulty in hearing. It would be good to appoint regular hearing tests, and invest in hearing-aids, if the condition demands.
Social isolation among elderly people is a serious problem with serious consequences. Therefore, family members should help their elderly avoid this problem, either by taking sufficient time out of their schedule to care for them or by encouraging them to live in a homely environment, such as that in nursing homes in Burgess Hill and Crawley, West Sussex.