According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one-third of all seniors are aging alone, which puts them at risk for the effects of loneliness and isolation. It’s important to catch senior isolation symptoms early because the health risks are severe. Studies note that seniors could develop Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, have their dementia worsen, experience increased blood pressure, and see their immune system decline. Here are a few symptoms of isolation to watch for:
Signs of Boredom
Is your loved one showing a lack of interest in or withdrawing from activities? Boredom is a common affliction for seniors, and it can cause lethargy. After retirement, their schedules change, they are often coping with losing friends, and they’re dealing with a lack of confidence. Staying engaged, making new friends, and finding fulfillment is an integral part of life for retired seniors. Keep an eye out for your loved one acting lethargic or showing signs of boredom. It could lead to a more significant health issue if not addressed.
Loss of Interest in Personal Hygiene
Poor hygiene is another common issue that can stem from your loved one’s lack of self-esteem. It’s essential to note changes in bathing habits, as it could be a sign of several ongoing issues, including Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. However, it could also be a product of boredom and isolation. When the days all feel the same and start to run together, your loved one might simply lose track of time. An example might be your loved one struggling to recall when they last bathed.
Eating habits are also critical to monitor if your loved one is aging alone. If they are not eating regularly, that is something that needs to be investigated. It could be they forget to eat or haven’t felt like cooking. It can be hard to get seniors to have a well-balanced diet with everything they need as it is, but if they’ve lost interest or aren’t feeling well, nutrition becomes a more significant problem quickly.
Signs of Hoarding
Another sign of isolation can manifest around the house. If your loved one is letting the home fall into disrepair or seems to be creating piles of clutter, it could be a byproduct of isolation. And you might have trouble seeing it if your loved one is purposely avoiding house visits. Research shows hoarding problems worsen as a person ages and can create dangerous living conditions for your loved one.
It’s important to understand the dangers of isolation and how to spot the warning signs. If problems worsen, it might be time to discuss downsizing with your loved one. Careage offers independent lifestyles for seniors while giving them a chance to engage with others and take part in activities that bring them joy. Take a look at our locations.
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