First of all, we need to realize that loneliness and isolation has a negative impact on health.
Recent researches and studies have shown that social isolation of elderly people has directly connected to health problems and earlier death. 59% of adults at the age of 60 and older, who consider themselves to be lonely, show significant disabilities to carry out everyday activities.
Another study that can be found in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry states the fact that elderly people who suffer from isolation and loneliness double the chances for developing dementia within three years.
Some other researches have shown the connection of loneliness with early death. Social isolation and loneliness are strong predictors for an early death, strong as alcoholism and smoking. All these results should be taken seriously and the life of seniors should be changed, they should stay connected and be socially active.
What are the ways of helping your aging parents to overcome these problems and ease the sense of loneliness and isolation?
One of the possibilities is to move into an adult family home with lots of possibilities for communication.
Social isolation can be also caused by transportation difficulties. You need to resolve this problem for your aging parents. There are different transportation options provided in most cities, you just need to contact a local agency on aging, who will provide all the needed information.
Different activities and classes can be a good answer to loneliness. Local libraries, colleges, community centers provide numerous classes, clubs, social activities, etc. it would be great if you take these classes together with your loved ones.
If you’ve noticed more serious problems than just loneliness, it’s time to talk to the doctor and at the same time it’s time to join a support group. These support groups provide important information, as well as encouragement and understanding.