Stress can lead to a myriad of health problems for people young and old. But for seniors, the ramifications of stress are amplified. And one of the contributing factors to major stress in seniors is isolation.
Isolation and Health
We all love our “me time” now and again (it keeps a lot of us sane), but imagine not seeing anyone at all for days, weeks, or even months on end. The movie Cast Away depicts how bad a person can get when isolated for a long period of time – his best friend was a volleyball!
All joking aside, isolation amongst seniors is a serious issue. According to the CDC, isolation can have negative health effects much like smoking and obesity can have negative health consequences. According to studies:
- Social isolation was associated with about a 50% increased risk in dementia
- Loneliness leads to higher rated in depression and anxiety
- Heart failure, stroke and increased risk of hospitalizations are associated with those who experience loneliness
Causes of Isolation
Many older adults live alone. Love ones, family, and friends pass as they get older. Adult children move away and aren’t as available for aging parents. Transportation challenges also distance them from the world around them. And loss of hearing can play a huge roll in isolation making communication by phone or face-to-face difficult, if not impossible.
During the COVID-19 pandemic — which impacts seniors more than any other demographic — seniors may feel especially shut off from the rest of the world. Those who are afraid to leave their homes may soon feel isolated from the social life they once knew.
PERS Can Combat Isolation
How can we help our aging loved ones combat isolation? A PERS or mPERS device may be a great place to start. For instance, an mPERS device can allow seniors who are still active to leave their home and still feel protected. Devices with cellular technology and GPS can essentially go anywhere they do.
Both mPERS and PERS devices allow for someone to be available for aging senior citizens at all times. Really, an operator is just a button push away. This can help them feel less isolated and give them confidence to leave their homes and perform normal daily tasks as they once did.
A mPERS or PERS device isn’t going to completely eliminate isolation, but it’s a step in the right direction knowing that someone will always be available when they need it.
Feel free to share these valuable tips and insights on assessing the health needs of our aging loved ones throughout the holiday season. Each of these articles will be made available through our website’s resource center, along with any important product updates or announcements for you through our dealer portal.