For older adults isolation, living alone with little or no social contact, results in great physical and mental hazard. Older adults living alone often experience challenges in decision making, executive function and the ability to manage day to day because they have no one to talk with about everyday life, health issues or about managing their future.
Older adults become more vulnerable to those who do visit, often home health aides who do not purposely seek to take advantage but do — when older adults crave companionship and human contact. Without human contact our brains suffer; we become more forgetful, less motivated to provide self care. Many think, if no one is going to see me why should I bathe or dress, why clean the house when no one but me will ever see its appearance?
If you have been a full time mother caring for an infant, remember back to the time when you would have done anything to have an adult conversation with another human? This situation is no different for older adults who become isolated as the result of spouses or friends passing away or the inability to drive. Isolation kills. Research indicates that social support increases activity and quality of life by 50-75%. Refuse to allow isolation to take hold of your life. Find ways and opportunities to remain active and engaged.
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