The separation the elderly may experience during their twilight years is heartbreaking, especially during illness. Social isolation has led to the deterioration of health for millions of elderly patients across the country. 33% of people over 65 and 50% of people over the age of 85 live alone. While not all feel lonely, more and more individuals are feeling this way.
It isn’t simply loneliness. Even when family members do what they can to care for their elderly family members, social isolation and the constant risk of health problems can limit the quality of life for both the caregiver and elderly person.
Social isolation can lead to:
Fortunately, there are ways for your elderly family member to stay in touch with you and your family. Our Social Care Program centers on the use of communication technology, including cell phones, e-mail, texts, Skype, and Facetime. With a combination of written words and screen-to-screen conversations, not only can you better stay connected to your mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather, it will improve their overall health and well-being.
We encourage the use of Facebook to help them communicate on a daily basis with friends as they share their experiences with those they love. Additionally, we can help teach the elderly how to shop online and how to use search engines to do personal research for different hobbies and interests.
Adopting a digital social life may not come so easily to older adults who have difficulties grasping new technology. However, recent studies have shown the following emotional and mental benefits digital tools can have on the elderly:
* Washington, D.C. based Phoenix Center
** Journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
If you worry one of your elderly family members may face social isolation as their lives change, consider choosing Visiting Angels. Our Social Care Program has been a tremendous help to those that would suffer from loneliness. Give us a call today and schedule an interview with one of our caregivers.