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10 Ways Being Lonely Can Impact Seniors’ Health

If your senior parent doesn’t get out and socialize enough consider companion care at home to help them stay physically and emotionally healthy.
Companion Care at Home in Covington LA
Companion Care at Home in Covington LA

Loneliness is becoming an epidemic among seniors, and health professionals are worried. When seniors suffer through long periods of isolation and loneliness they can suffer from health problems that are related to being lonely and isolated.

Seniors who are living alone may become isolated because their family members and children live far away. Or they could become isolated because they have mobility challenges that make it difficult for them to get out and socialize. But whatever the reason for the loneliness is, seniors and their families need to take steps to combat it.

Companion care at home is a fantastic way for seniors to get the companionship and socialization they need to be healthy. With companion care at home, seniors don’t need to leave their home to engage in conversations, share meals, do activities, and enjoy the social aspect of being around another person.

If seniors aren’t getting enough social interaction they have an increased risk for health problems like:

Weakened Immune System

Loneliness has been linked to a weakened immune system, making seniors more susceptible to infections and illnesses. A compromised immune system can lead to longer recovery times and increased susceptibility to diseases.

Cardiovascular Issues

Chronic loneliness can contribute to heart problems. Research has shown that socially isolated seniors are more likely to develop hypertension, experience heart palpitations, and have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

High Blood Pressure

Loneliness is associated with higher blood pressure levels. Prolonged periods of loneliness can lead to chronic hypertension, which can have serious health consequences.

Sleep Disturbances

Loneliness often leads to sleep disturbances and insomnia. Poor sleep quality can exacerbate physical health problems, as restorative sleep is essential for overall well-being.

Weight Gain or Loss

Loneliness can impact seniors’ eating habits. Some may overeat as a way to cope with their feelings of isolation, leading to weight gain and obesity. Others may lose their appetite, resulting in unintentional weight loss and malnutrition.

Muscle Weakness and Loss of Mobility

Loneliness can lead to physical inactivity, muscle atrophy, and a loss of mobility. Seniors who are socially isolated may be less motivated to engage in physical activities that promote strength and balance, which can increase the risk of falls and fractures.

Cognitive Decline

Loneliness has been associated with cognitive decline and an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The lack of social interaction and mental stimulation can contribute to cognitive impairment.

Chronic Pain

Seniors who experience loneliness may be more prone to chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and headaches. The emotional distress of loneliness can exacerbate the perception of pain.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Loneliness can manifest as gastrointestinal issues, including indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation. Stress associated with loneliness can disrupt digestive processes.

Lower Life Expectancy

Perhaps the most concerning physical health problem linked to loneliness in seniors is a reduced life expectancy. Multiple studies have shown that prolonged social isolation can significantly decrease one’s overall lifespan. If your senior parent doesn’t get out and socialize enough consider companion care at home to help them stay physically and emotionally healthy.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Companion Care at Home in Covington, LA, please contact the caring staff at BrightCare Homecare today. Call (985) 224-0404
BrightCare Homecare is a top provider of home care services in the Northshore areas including Mandeville, Covington, Madisonville, Hammond, Ponchatoula, Slidell, Lacombe, Abita Springs, Goodbee, St. Tammany Parish, and more.
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