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6 Primary Reasons for Social Isolation in Aging Adults

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Social isolation is common in seniors. It’s thought that staying active and social during the golden years can prevent both medical and psychological issues. Here are six causes of social isolation in seniors and how you can help your aging loved one stay socially active.

1. Hearing Deficits

Seniors with impaired hearing may avoid socializing because they don’t want friends or family members to know their hearing is poor. Also, when older adults are unable to hear well, they may feel left out if they’re unable to comprehend conversations. If you suspect your loved one has problems with hearing, make an appointment with an audiologist.

2. Mood Disorders

Depression and anxiety may keep your loved one from socializing. Some seniors who are anxious experience agoraphobia, or fear of leaving the house. Similarly, if your loved one lives with depression, he or she may be unable to get dressed, bathe, or even get out of bed. If you notice mood changes, see a physician, who may refer your loved one to a mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment. 

Social isolation can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but they don’t have to manage them alone. In Milwaukee, senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

3. Mobility Limitations

Seniors who have chronic pain or limited mobility may avoid going out to socialize. Depending on the cause and severity of the mobility issue, your loved one may experience pain and have a fear of falling. If your loved one has difficulty walking because of pain, make sure he or she takes all prescribed pain medications. Also, consider giving your loved one a walking device such as a four-prong cane to enhance stability so he or she has more confidence to socialize away from home. 

Seniors with mobility limitations could also develop serious illnesses, making it a challenge to care for themselves. If your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, the Milwaukee live-in care professionals at Home Care Assistance are here to help. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method was designed to promote longevity by encouraging seniors to focus on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental engagement, and other important lifestyle factors.

4. Lack of Socialization

If your loved one no longer has any friends or family members who live close by, he or she may become socially isolated. You can help by scheduling periodic social outings that give your loved one a chance to see people and interact with them in various settings. Good choices for outings include senior centers, shopping malls, pet shelters, restaurants, and parks.

5. Cognitive Deficits

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, he or she may be unable to socialize with others without help from a caregiver. If you’re the primary caregiver to your loved one, spend as much time as possible with him or her. Also, encourage phone calls from other family members and friends so your loved one stays connected to the outside world. For additional stimulation and socialization, consider getting a dog or cat for your loved one. The tactile stimulation and friendly socialization between human and animal provide a wide array of health benefits.

6. Inability to Drive

Once a senior’s driving privileges have been taken away, he or she may lose interest in socializing. When seniors are still allowed to drive, it reminds them that they’re still independent. If your loved one cannot drive anymore because of vision impairment, illness, or cognitive decline, contact the senior citizen agency in your area to learn about transportation options available to seniors.

Social activity is only one of many factors that contribute to robust mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care services. Milwaukee families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at Milwaukee (414) 964-8000 or Waukesha (262) 782-3383 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.