The Impact of Isolation on Elders
One of the main focuses for Geriatric Care Managers at Senior Steps is the overall health and happiness of our clients, beyond the standard health and care issues that can occur in later life. Overall health and happiness mean that we care specifically for our client’s well-being outside of just physical health. Although there are certainly issues such as medications, physical therapy, long-term treatment, and others, one of the most critical parts of our role as Geriatric Care Managers is the overall picture.
Isolation can be very harmful to the well-being and overall happiness of human beings. In the case of elders and those heading into their later years, isolation is a major risk factor. Not only is it dangerous for an elder person with declining coordination or other issue to live on their own because of the physical danger, it is also dangerous for them in regard to mental health and wellbeing.
Depression and Melancholy are real problems that can occur in elders, and the prevention and treatment of these issues is important part of elder care. At Senior Steps, our on-boarding and assessment process includes depression and happiness as a major part of our client’s quality of life. We always seek to provide our clients with health options that maximize their well-being, happiness, and self of self.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, the issue of isolation and the stresses that it imposes on people are brought to the forefront. People everywhere are frustrated and upset that they are limited in their ability to socialize, to travel, to even visit a nice restaurant or see a movie. Isolation is traumatizing, and it can quickly lead to a downward spiral of irritation, anger, and lack of concern about health.
In elders, isolation is a major risk factor for long-term health issues. In addition, isolation can exacerbate health issues that would be easily remedied in a more social environment. For example, an elder person who may have an issue with a medication that causes them to be irritable may have their irritation and frustration written off a symptom of isolation and social distancing, not a medication issue. With this in mind, it is important to work through isolation with elder persons as well as we can. Outdoor walks, socially distanced events, and especially technology such as FaceTime and Zoom, can do much to alleviate the health risks and the mental stress of isolation.
Here at Senior Steps, we facilitate the healthy and fulfilling lifestyles of our clients, no matter their healthcare needs or concerns. During COVID-19, we are especially focused on ensuring our clients are socializing as much as they can and staying in contact with friends and family. It makes a difference!