Slightly more than a century ago, senior citizens accounted for about 4 percent of the population of the United States; in contrast, by the year 2050, this figure is expected to top the 20 percent mark. Right now, the number of people 65 years and older hovers near the midpoint at an estimated 13 percent. Of those, almost 30 percent live in isolation, and as the portion of the population falling into this category creeps toward its predicted high, this number is expected to rise proportionally.
While all those statistics may seem a bit abstract, they do have a defined significance. Whether due to declining health, loss of close friends, family members moving away or other reasons, studies show isolation leaves elderly citizens vulnerable to a wide range of issues. Senior Care can help combat those negative effects on a number of levels as long as that support comes from trained and compassionate individuals.
Those with chronic long-term illnesses, like various forms of cancer, respiratory difficulties caused by lung diseases and conditions leading to decreased mobility, are among the most likely to become isolated. Physical health often further declines in situations like these. Even those suffering from potentially reversible conditions have been found to heal more slowly or experience less complete recoveries than those who have strong support networks.
Although the physical effects of isolation can be severe, the mental and emotional impacts tend to be much more profound. Solitude greatly increases the risk of depression; at the same time, reclusive lifestyles lead to a decrease in cognitive function. This, in turn, raises the risk of developing dementia. Feelings of loneliness also have a way of contributing to the common “why to bother” mindset. Those experiencing such circumstances may give up on exercise and forgo meals because they simply no longer see the point of taking care of themselves.
Senior Care, whether it comes in the form of assistance with daily tasks, medical care for chronic conditions or companionship and transportation, goes a long way toward preventing the repercussions of isolation. This is true of the potential physical, cognitive and emotional impacts alike. Visit http://careminders.com/omaha to learn more about the types of care available for your senior loved ones. You can also follow them on Twitter for more information.