Homecare Assistance: A Cure for Senior Loneliness
A recent study, the National Poll on Healthy Aging found that one in three seniors is lonely. “Living alone, in particular, was highly associated with feeling lonely. Among those living alone, 60% reported feeling a lack of companionship and 41% felt isolated.” In the report, homecare assistance was listed as one of the solutions to help alleviate this problem.
The emotional impact aside, this research also showed that loneliness has major repercussions on senior health. “Chronic loneliness can impact older adults’ memory, physical well-being, mental health, and life expectancy. In fact, some research suggests that chronic loneliness may shorten life expectancy even more than being overweight or sedentary, and just as much as smoking.”
Loneliness is a state that can develop over time. It may start with increasing geographical distances between families as seniors are often left behind when adult children relocate for job opportunities. Then, one by one their contemporaries begin to pass away. Those seniors who survive their siblings often feel even more isolated. Medical problems or the death of a spouse can make seniors even less likely to engage, compounding their feelings of loneliness.
The study goes on to say that “encouraging and supporting meaningful social connections and more frequent interactions — through activities such as volunteerism, participation in community or religious groups, or home visiting programs — may help mitigate loneliness and its associated health challenges.”
This is one of the many reasons why adding professional homecare assistance to your loved one’s life can have such a positive impact.
Has Your Family Considered Homecare Assistance?
Your life is busy. You’re balancing children, a career, and managing a household. It can feel like there are not enough hours in the day when you don’t have an opportunity to stop by and visit your mom or dad. You start to wonder: Did they eat a nutritious meal for breakfast? Are they wearing their medical alert pendant? Did they remember to lock the front door? Did they take their evening pills?
These questions flash through your mind as you’re trying to get the kids to bed so you can finish the presentation for tomorrow’s meeting. And then the guilt sets in. Are you doing everything in your loved one’s best interests? Are you taking as good care of them as they did of you?
Being a family caregiver is a lonely road. People don’t understand the challenges until they have experienced it themselves. If you’re on this road, now may be the time to explore homecare assistance?
Stephanie Cacioppo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, is also director of the university’s National Institute on Aging-supported Brain Dynamics Laboratory. She states, “The misery and suffering caused by chronic loneliness are very real and warrant attention. As a social species, we are accountable to help our lonely children, parents, neighbors, and even strangers in the same way we would treat ourselves. Treating loneliness is our collective responsibility.”
That’s where Visiting Angels® comes in. The responsibility you feel can be shared with our compassionate homecare assistance staff and your loving family. We’re here to ease the stress you’re feeling while also providing your parents with friendly, joyful
Our homecare assistance can include help with a wide range of tasks and activities. We can provide reminders to take medications, transportation to appointments or therapies, provide assistance with household chores, and help with personal care and hygiene needs. We’ll be there to ease your burden while helping to combat the loneliness your loved one may be feeling.
At Visiting Angels®, we understand the power of a team when it’s focused on the same objectives.