The Dangers of Social Isolation
Many family members who contact our facility to learn about our services very often mention the same concern: they want their older family member to have some social contact during the day. Too often, the older adult sits in front of the television, dozing on and off. These well meaning family members are justified in having these concerns: there is now increasing evidence that shows that social isolation leads to depression and loss of motivation and functional abilities. Many older adults have led active lives, both personally and professionally, and the loss of their jobs, friends, and sense of purpose have contributed to feelings of isolation. In addition to providing attention to their health care needs, our staff makes sure that clients are offered activities which help them regain their sense of purpose and identity. Connecting with their spiritual needs also helps lessen feelings of social isolation – our facility offers opportunities to reconnect with these needs which may have been ignored over the years.
Are you aware of a special talent or skill that your family member has – did they play the piano? Tend a garden? Teach English? If so, this will help us to plan activities which use some of the skills that gave them pleasure and a sense of identity. And don’t forget – family members are our partners in making sure that our clients are offered activities that trigger these positive emotions.