Thursday, 16 February 2017

Social Isolation in Seniors and People with Disabilities

It has been established that there is a distinct connection between the stress and negativity of chronic loneliness and the mental and physical health of individuals. Social isolation is particularly prevalent among the elderly and those with disabilities. 

For senior citizens, the likelihood of being lonely as they age increases, as friends pass away and their social circle shrinks, they go into retirement, and illnesses limit social interaction. For people who have disabilities, they find that they have few opportunities to form close connections outside of family, and with the stigma surrounding them, getting out there and forming a social support system can be difficult. For those who are severely limited by their disabilities, there are not many facilities catered towards easing their day to day life, and so social isolation becomes an inevitability for most. 

Social Isolation – The Silent Killer

The impact of social isolation on the elderly and those with disabilities can be deadly. Loneliness, especially the kind that is long term, has a noticeable effect not only on the psychological health of individuals, but also impacts their physical health. According to research, social isolation can be linked to a higher risk of mortality, showing that indeed, loneliness can deadly. Isolation is also correlated to the occurrence of high blood pressure, depression, and chronic illnesses in people. These long term illnesses, like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, have a greater chance of occurring in those who are subject to social isolation. When it comes to the high risk of mortality in seniors and those with special needs, one explanation may be that since they do not have a strong system of social support, prompt medical attention in life threatening scenarios may likely be hard to come by. 

How Home Care Services Can Help 

Home care services for the elderly and for those with special needs can greatly enhance the quality of their physical and emotional health by alleviating social isolation. By hiring a trained professional from a reliable home care agency like iCarePros, the home healthcare providers can help these isolated people feel less lonely and give them a sense of companionship and support. A service like ours can enable these individuals to expand their social circles by giving them access to transport, and aiding them in navigating social activities they may otherwise be unable to do. If you have a loved one you feel could benefit from the services we have to offer, contact us and let us help them add support and stability to their lives.

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