Everyone feels lonely at some point in their life. Usually, this is a fleeting feeling, and people are able to move forward. If this loneliness becomes chronic, however, it can have a variety of negative impacts on health and well-being, and greatly diminish quality of life. Unfortunately, risk for loneliness tends to be high among elderly adults. This can cause your parent to suffer many challenges including depression, anxiety, loss of motivation, increased risk for cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, and more. Understanding your parent’s individual risk factors for loneliness can help you to identify challenges they are facing, and make modifications to their care, and to their daily lifestyle so they can reduce their loneliness and improve their quality of life.
Some risk factors for loneliness your senior might face include:
- Living alone.
- Having lost their partner through death or divorce.
- Never having been married.
- Having a low income.
- Being over the age of 75.
- Being in an ethnic, religious, or sexual minority in the neighborhood or living environment.
- Suffering from poor health.
- Experiencing decreased mobility.
- Experiencing cognitive impairment.
- Experiencing a decrease in the acuity of senses, such as low vision or hearing loss.
- No longer being able to drive.
Living at a distance from your aging parent can pose a variety of challenges during your caregiver journey with them. As a family caregiver, you want to know your parents needs are being fulfilled effectively and in meaningful ways on a regular basis. You also want to feel confident they are experiencing a comfortable, happy, and engaged quality of life. This can be difficult when you live too far from your senior to be with them as often as you would like. Fortunately, elderly care can be there to help. Having an elderly home care services provider as a regular element of your parents care routine means they will have access to companionship, emotional support, and activity, as well as personalized care and assistance. This can ease your stress and give you peace of mind knowing that their health and safety needs are being managed, but also that they are receiving support and attention that can help them avoid negative consequences such as loneliness, isolation, depression, and loss of motivation. This can be particularly meaningful if your aging parent has other risk factors for loneliness, or has already been experiencing mental and emotional health consequences such as depression or anxiety.