The Effects of Loneliness and Depression in Seniors

Elderly woman coping with loneliness in Ottawa, ON

The holidays are filled with celebrations and togetherness for many people, but older adults who are struggling with the physical and emotional challenges of aging may not think the festive season is all that bright anymore.

 

Chronic health conditions, pain, and limited mobility may make it a challenge for older adults to participate in holiday festivities, leaving some seniors feeling isolated and lonely. This emotional response can have an impact on their physical and emotional well-being.

 

Research suggests that loneliness can affect the brain and possibly even speed up the onset of dementia.

 

Results of numerous studies conclude that there’s a link between loneliness and heart disease, as well. Researchers at Harvard followed 44,000 people with heart disease and found that 8 % of patients living alone passed away after just four years, compared with only 5.7 % of those living at home with a spouse or other family members.

 

When researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, studied a group of seniors for six years, it was found that almost a quarter (22.8 %) of all the older adults who had reported feeling isolated or lonely had died. Still another 25 % had suffered significant health declines.

 

The good news: of the seniors who said they were happy and satisfied with their lives, only 12.5 % had declining health, and 14.2 % had died.

 

We’re here to help

During the holiday season, Comfort Keepers® caregivers can offer support to seniors or adults who might need to combat loneliness and isolation. Our professional caregivers forge strong emotional connections with their clients. Through this proprietary approach to care, called Interactive Caregiving™, we emphasize and encourage meaningful engagement and interaction with clients. Caregivers can help with cooking a favorite meal, decorating the home, addressing holiday cards, and assisting with anything that might enhance their quality of life. Our caregivers can also assist in driving clients to family events and festivities, so they don’t miss out on family traditions.

 

Our specially selected caregivers are bonded and insured employees who care for others, allowing the adult to remain in his or her own home. To get more details on in-home care that can help to enhance emotional well-being, during the holidays and year-round, contact us today.

 

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