How Can Caregivers Help Seniors with Social Isolation : Social isolation is one of the main catalysts of depression for most age groups, particularly seniors. Depression can seriously affect a person’s health and in worst case scenarios, lead to suicide. One of the best ways to fight these feelings is to notice the early signs of depression in a loved one.
The same goes for professional senior caregivers you hire, who spend most of their time with their isolated senior clients. That puts caregivers in a difficult position of being indirectly responsible for the seniors’ wellbeing but also gives them a chance to help. In this article, we’ll discuss how Can Caregivers Help Seniors with Social Isolation.
Social Isolation in Seniors
In US alone there are more than 8 million seniors older than 50 suffering from social isolation. It is a growing concern as the condition can be triggered by a number of factors including living in an unwelcoming community, suffering major physical and mental traumas or having poor mental or physical health. Losing a spouse to old age and living alone are the most common reasons that influence social isolation in seniors.
As drastic life changes such as these are more common at an older age, seniors are particularly susceptible to social isolation. The latest technological advancements have also played a major part in sparking social isolation, not just in seniors but in people of any age.
However, it is the fleeting contact with their family and loved ones that usually causes social isolation in seniors. In most cases, seniors tend to feel unappreciated and abandoned by their families. And since people are using tools like Skype or FaceTime to make up for the lack of face to face contact, seniors tend to feel even worse as they do not understand this dynamic. Seniors unfamiliar or uncomfortable with modern communication technologies are the ones who get hit the hardest.
How Can Caregivers Help?
The first and most obvious answer is that caregivers can help seniors feeling isolated by offering companionship along with other services designed to help seniors living at home. But professional caregivers are also able to recognize the onset of depression resulting from social isolation even sooner than the family members. Therefore, they can notice any changes in their health like loss of appetite and weight or lack of self-care, changes in their behavior like constant sadness, lack of motivation and expressing suicidal thoughts.
Although social isolation can prove a challenging battle for many seniors, caregivers are there to help. Depression can often occur when seniors are forced to move to a nursing home. With home care services seniors can age in their own home, and avoid this major life change that might lead to depression.
Caregivers can help seniors overcome the technical barrier and teach them how to use modern devices to communicate with their families. They are also more than happy to keep seniors company and hear their thoughts and concerns.
If you think your loved one may be struggling with feelings of social isolation and there’s nothing you can do that seems to help improve their condition, you should seek professional help before their condition deteriorates.
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How Can Caregivers Help Seniors with Social Isolation
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