Signs of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Seniors

Loneliness and lack of social engagement do more harm to seniors than many people realize is possible. These issues directly affect physical health, emotional wellness, and even cognitive health. The impact can happen quickly, too. When family members recognize the signs of social isolation and loneliness, it’s easy to put solutions like companion care at home services to work for seniors.

Mood Changes

Companion Care at Home Stoneham MA - Signs of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Seniors
Companion Care at Home Stoneham MA – Signs of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Seniors

Seniors who are typically even-keeled and positive might suddenly experience darker moods. Often this is closely related to how lonely they are feeling and whether they’re getting enough social engagement. Spending time with others, especially companion care at home caregivers, can help improve their overall moods.

Appetite Changes

When aging adults experience emotional stress and social isolation, they’re more likely to suffer from physical signs like appetite changes. They may not want to eat at all, for instance, especially if meals have always been a more social event for them. Solutions like having home care providers prepare meals for them and stick around while seniors eat can help immensely.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Along with appetite changes, seniors might exhibit signs like unexplained weight loss. It’s always a good idea to rule out an underlying health issue, but unintentional weight changes mean that something is different somewhere. It needs to be addressed.

Fatigue

Social isolation and loneliness can lead to lots of issues, mainly depression. One of the signs of depression can be fatigue that isn’t relieved by sleep. Seniors might start to sleep more or simply express that they’re tired all the time. That fatigue could be related to the emotional issues they’re experiencing.

Diminished Self-care Habits

Seniors who are feeling isolated and alone might see no purpose behind self-care or hygiene habits, either. They may avoid bathing, for instance, or start wearing clothes that haven’t been washed in a while. These changes can lead to hygiene issues that affect physical health if they’re not addressed.

Increased Pain

Seniors might also express that they’re feeling more pain than usual. There might be logical reasons for this, especially if they deal with conditions like arthritis or old injuries. But if they’re withdrawing from favorite activities and are spending too much time alone, the problem could also be loneliness. Spending time with companion care at home can help reduce pain caused by depression.

Cognitive Changes

Loneliness has a huge impact on the brain and how it functions. Just as depression and other mental health issues can cause brain function changes, isolation does as well. Seniors who are spending too much time alone might feel confused more often, may have more memory issues, and may have trouble concentrating. Relieving the isolation can reverse these issues quickly.

Companion care at home offers an easy way for seniors to get the social engagement that they need to battle loneliness and isolation. Identifying that this is what’s happening for seniors is the first step, and then aging adults can work with family caregivers to put a plan in place for helping them get the social engagement they want and need.

If you or an aging loved one is considering Companion Care at Home Services in Stoneham MA or the surrounding areas, please get in touch with the caring staff at Visiting Nurse & Community Care today. (781) 643-6090