Social Isolation during COVID-19 can be especially hard for seniors

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While social isolation has become a hot topic for everyone lately, it is nothing new to the senior population. As humans, we are social creatures. We long for belonging and connection to the people around us. This is true for people of any age. Many of us are dealing with social isolation for the first time. We are separated from our loved ones, family and even co-workers. We are feeling the sadness and loneliness many equate with social isolation.
Isolation verse lonely
Social isolation does not mean you are lonely. Many individuals live alone but do not feel isolated. You may have connections with others in several different ways which are completely fulfilling to you. If you engage in meaningful activities which bring purpose and meaning to your life, you may be living a completely content, happy life. Therefor living alone does not make you more or less prone to feeling isolated.
Conversely, you can be surrounded by family and loved ones while feeling isolated. You may have family with you all the time but if you do not find the relationship to be engaging or meaningful, it can feel like you are completely alone. The bottom line is your relationships and interactions with others need to bring satisfaction and a sense of meaning to your life. If you feel your input in valued, you are more likely to engage and participate.
Where isolation begins
For many seniors, the isolation could start with the loss of a partner or significant other. Perhaps this was the person they spent much of their time with, or the person they shared a home with. Creating a new normal can be difficult. Losing the sense of connection has the potential to change your perception of the world around you. For any one of us, having extended periods of loneliness and isolation can create health issues, thus leaving seniors at greater risk.
Keep in mind this is all assuming what we once called normal living. We have entered the COVID pandemic where all the rules have changed. We are now feeling social isolation, but our seniors are feeling it even harder. Seniors are more scared than you might imagine, after all their risk is greater than those who are younger or without health issues. Senior are no longer able to rely on family for things, for fear of exposure.
Seniors who live in communities may be in their rooms for days at a time to help protect themselves and others. Should they need minor health care, they must decide if the care they need is worth the potential risk of infection. Should they need a hospital, they are facing the situation alone. They enter the hospital to receive care alone. For a senior with cognitive issues, this becomes an overwhelming and extremely scary time not just for them but for the families as well.
I often think about a saying made famous by Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” If you have seniors in your life, take some time to see how they are really doing. Have a longer more meaningful conversation with them than you may have planned. Share with them things going on in your world. You may find you have more things in common now than you every have.
More about Assured Assistance
Assured Assistance is a non-medical homecare company based in Shillington, PA. serving Reading, Wyomissing, Sinking Spring, West Lawn, and surrounding areas. Assured Assistance provides in home senior care, for seniors who want to remain in their homes but need some assistance to complete everyday tasks. Assured Assistance also provides respite care, home care, and compassionate skilled senior care. With home care, we can provide services which include but is not limited to…Companionship, Errand Services, Housekeeping, Laundry Services, Transportation, Organization Needs, Meal Preparation, Shopping/Groceries, Family Respite Care, Grooming/Hygiene Assistance AND More. We provide service when you want and how you want, anything from 3 hours to 24/7. If you are a caregiver who needs respite, a family member looking to assist your parents in their journey to remain independent or simply looking for help for yourself, call Assured Assistance at 610-796-4737. We can provide the home care you are looking for!