Senior Isolation Warning Signs From Home Care Providers

May 13, 2015

Many adult children hang up the phone with elderly mothers and fathers feeling unsettled. Is dad still getting to his bridge game? Has mom even seen anyone in the past few days? While our parents may put on a good front so as not to worry us, our concerns about their loneliness could be valid.

Eleven million, or 28% of people aged 65 and older, lived alone in 2010, according to the United States Census Bureau. While living alone doesn’t necessarily mean loneliness, it can tip the scales that way. Seniors who feel lonely and isolated are more likely to have poor physical and mental health, high blood pressure, depression, and quicker cognitive decline. We are a social species, and when our needs for company go unmet, neurological, physical and mood issues follow. Researchers from the University of California San Francisco found that those aged 60 and older who reported loneliness had a 45 percent increase in their risk for death. 

Social support, on the other hand, helps seniors eat healthy, get exercise and make better choices like rejecting smoking and alcohol. Our home care providers have seen all the signs of isolation and work quickly to remedy them.

If you’re suspicious that your senior loved one suffers from loneliness, consider whether you, your siblings, neighbors or others have seen the following signs lately:

  • excessive, frantic talking,
  • flat, defeated demeanor
  • reluctance to interact or participate in social activities
  • holding your hand or arm for a prolonged period
  • reduced appetite

How Home Care Providers Conquer Loneliness

The best home care providers greatly ease a senior’s loneliness in many ways. When a home care provider’s interests and personality traits prove similar to the client’s, genuine conversations flourish. That’s why it’s so important to build your loved one’s My Care Match profile with sufficient detail. We make sure you find a caregiver attuned to and experienced in your (or your loved one’s) needs, preferences and personality.

More home care providers play a crucial role in connecting a senior with an even wider community. They accompany senior on the walks that get them out among their neighbors. They drive seniors to church and club events or even a luncheon with a friend. Finally, they can help the senior slowly move out of isolation by doing the online legwork and making the phone calls to find groups, volunteer opportunities, exercise classes and more and then transporting their client to these opportunities.

Society, the Elderly and Loneliness

In the United States, the fracturing of families has lead to more senior isolation than ever before. Grandparents don’t help raise grandchildren as much, and so these two generations have lost the closeness they once enjoyed. Families spread out over multiple states and coasts is the norm. Elderly parents no longer room in with adult children and their families. To meet these issues, some cities now have programs that act as clearinghouses for seniors to room together, an arrangement that helps both parties save on living expenses and enjoy each other’s company.

My Care Match helps you not only find the home service providers to handle personal care, meal preparation and errands, we get you caregivers who specialize in caring for those with diabetes, Alzheimer’s, COPD, heart disease and other serious illnesses. Our caregivers can come just a few hours each week or every day, 24/7. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. Ready to get your or your loved one’s profile started so that providers contact you? Our FREE sign up page gets you started.

About the Author

Doug Breuer is co-founder of and has worked in senior care for the last 9 years for the State of Oregon. From investigating cases of elder abuse to managing the delivery of long term care to residents of Central Oregon, Doug has been involved in all aspects of senior care.

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