Social isolation and loneliness among older adults in the context of COVID-19

Social isolation and loneliness among older adults in the context of COVID-19

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Social isolation is defined as the objective state of having few social relationships or infrequent social contact with others while loneliness is a subjective feeling of being isolated. Social isolation and loneliness are serious yet underestimated public health risks that affect a significant portion of the older adult population. The COVID-19 pandemic is increasing the number of older adults who are socially isolated including both community-dwelling older adults and nursing home residents, as Ireland has returned to a lockdown strategy it is important to focus on the mental health and well-being of older adults in our community.

Prior to the disease outbreak, the vast major of community-dwelling older adults actively participated in social activities, such as attending senior centers, churches activities, traveling, and many other social events. While family members can be primary caregivers caring for older adults with functional and cognitive impairment, a professional caregiver service can also plays an important role for many frail older adults. A professional caregiver service can cover adult-day care, respite care, homemakers, meal preperation, and home health services. For frail older adults living alone, a local caregiver may be the only person they meet on a daily basis.

These latest restrictions would certainly increase social isolation and the feelings of loneliness of older adults. In the context of COVID-19, social isolation may be especially detrimental to family caregivers being that the majority are older adults themselves and are already at increased risk of stress, anxiety and depression.

Increasing evidence demonstrates that social isolation has a detrimental impact on an individual’s health and well-being. Studies have found that social isolation and loneliness are major risk factors that have been linked with poor physical and mental health status: increased blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diminished immune system functioning, depression, anxiety, poorer cognitive functioning, increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and mortality. Social isolation has been associated with an approximately 50% increased risk of developing dementia, a 29% increased risk of incident coronary heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke. We need to be cognizant that the social isolation resulting from efforts to decrease the spread of COVID-19, can at the same time increase the risk of these negative outcomes, potentially having a profound impact on their health and wellbeing.

Senior Care Plus Caregiver

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Fortunately, there is a better way! Senior Care Plus Live-In care is a customized and compassionate approach to senior care which can ensure your loved one receives all of the companionship and one-on-one personal assistance they need to lead a safe and fulfilling lives in the comfort of their own home.

Senior care plus live-in care varies from client to client and depends upon their level of need but essentially it means that a Carer or team of carers will live with the person needing care in their home and provide round-the-clock care.

Live-in care usually includes personal care, (like washing, dressing and supporting morning and nighttime routines), supervision of medication, helping with odd jobs around the house, cleaning, cooking and of course companionship. Carers may also take care recipients to the shops or help support getting them to and from medical or hospital appointments. 

You can have live-in care for as long as you like: two weeks, a month or even as a respite break to cover while the family carer has their break – it’s entirely up to you.

Among the top home care agencies in Ireland, we’re dedicated to ensuring the wellbeing of your loved ones through sustained emotional support, and all in the comfort of their own home. At Senior care Plus we understand that mental and emotional wellbeing is just as important as your physical health.

As such, your live-in carer will always endeavour to not only be a source of help and support, but also an excellent companion. In fact, many individuals develop true bonds with their Carers and would consider them to be a friend as well as a support professional.

Please feel free to call us on 053 923 7408 for a friendly chat or fill in the form below.

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