Living in isolation can be one of the worst situations that seniors can be in. Isolation affects everyone in different ways, but it can be especially detrimental for seniors who may need medical care or do not do well when there are no other people near them. If the senior family member does not drive or they live in a rural or isolated area with no family nearby, this can be even more dangerous.
Assisted living facilities may provide one of the best solutions for a lonely or isolated senior member of the family.
What Is Senior Isolation?
Isolation can happen to anyone at any age, but it can be detrimental to seniors in our communities and in our own families. Often, a senior may become isolated through the death of their spouse or a close friend. Some may also become isolated or end up isolating themselves if they suffer from early stages of Alzheimer’s or from Parkinson’s disease, in which they sometimes may experience hallucinations or sudden changes in mood or perception.
Though isolation can occur anywhere in the world, those who live in rural areas where homes are far apart from each other are extremely vulnerable to becoming isolated. This is especially true for seniors who do not drive and who may not have transportation readily available to them.
What Can Happen If A Senior Is Isolated?
Because some seniors may have fragile or failing health to begin with, being away or isolated from others is a frightening and sometimes deadly situation for those who still insist on living in their own homes, as opposed to making the move to a senior assisted living facility.
Also, because their sense of balance may not be as strong as it was when they were younger, seniors are susceptible to slips, trips and falls, and these types of falls can be dangerous on aging and thinning bones and tissue.
If a senior lives in an isolated area in which emergency facilities may not be able to readily or easily get to them, medical emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes, falls from great heights, or falls involving broken hips or spinal injuries can be especially deadly. Though some seniors may insist on staying in their homes for familiarity purposes, they may no longer be able to properly care for themselves the way they once could.
How Assisted Living Can Help
Assisted living is a boon to those who may be in fragile health or who sometimes forget to eat or take their medications, because staff are on hand and available to help them with this. In addition to having well-qualified staff, these facilities are also designed keeping seniors in mind. Everything, from the type of flooring to the design of the furniture and the activities that are planned on a daily basis, are geared towards seniors, which can make a huge difference to a senior’s sense of confidence and independence.
Many senior assisted living facilities also welcome pets, so if they have a dog or cat they cannot bear to be away from, they will not be separated from their furry friends.
In an assisted living facility, many seniors who once suffered loneliness and depression through isolation flourish and thrive, returning more to their “old” selves, because they are around other people who are the same age and may have had some of the same life experiences.
Assisted living helps beloved senior family members with regards to their health, well-being, nutrition, and social interactions.