A shoulder to lean on. It’s what many of us need sometimes during our darkest of hours. However, picture a world where you have no one to go to for emotional support. You’re drenched with a million worries, fears, and concerns, yet there is not a single person you can trust with your feelings.
We’ve read or heard it before. While it’s okay to be alone sometimes to regather and focus your energy, long-term loneliness can be disastrous to someone’s health. The worst is most people don’t see how lonely they are. When admitting to loneliness, is frowned on in society especially in the United States.
How is this bad? The concept of loneliness is like a silent killer. It’s not something that is easy to spot and because of the stigma placed on society, those who are lonely, won’t accept help. They see their loneliness as a sign of failure to connect with others. Normally, loneliness is a result of lacking the resources to find connections.
There are people who enjoy being alone. This is not always the case though. There is a difference between being alone and feeling alone. However, social isolation can be problematic especially for seniors. It is considered worse than smoking and other bad habits. In society, aging seniors struggle with loneliness.
Loneliness Results in Illness
The primary issue with loneliness is that it isn’t considered a real illness. When others think of loneliness, they see it as an easy fix. Respectfully, loneliness leads to an increased risk of depression and mental health.
As a result of depression, isolation can affect a person’s physical and mental health. These problems are caused by bad habits like smoking or binge eating. Nevertheless, according to experts, socially isolated seniors have a 59% percent risk of experiencing mental and physical decline due to loneliness.
Signs of Depression to Look for in Seniors
The signs of depression in seniors can include attitude, self-isolation, weight loss, fatigue, and loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. When seniors feel alone, they are less likely to exercise, connect, or volunteer their time doing more enjoyable activities versus clinging onto depressive ideas.
Caregivers or home health aides are the next best thing in ensuring that our aging population doesn’t feel alone when they are transitioning in life. There is not a single person who deserves to feel isolated or alone. Nevertheless, all it takes is compassion and an ear to help brighten someone else’s day.
Battling Loneliness with Companionship and Home Care
The purpose of life is to find meaning and connect.
Since we understand the problem with loneliness, how do we battle it? For seniors, it is crucial for them to receive companionship. Home care agencies help battle the effects of loneliness by having someone available. In most instances, home health aides act like friends and family members to the patient.
It’s more than a shoulder to cry on. A simple gesture of listening or offering help combats loneliness. Patients find that having someone with them can ease the stress and anxiety of being left alone. Their moods improve dramatically after accepting help.
A number of health care professions are understanding the value of home care services and maybe it’s time everyone did too.