Isolation can lead to serious physiological and psychological problems. Studies have shown that isolated seniors are more likely to be sicker than other seniors. Retirees are more vulnerable than other demographics for isolation for several potential reasons. Because of its health effects, it is good to combat isolation when it is an issue.

Here are some ways to combat social isolation:

• Know if the person in question feels isolated: It’s easy to judge other’s social activity on our own standards. What might feel like isolation to some might be solitude to others. If the person expresses feelings of loneliness, continue with some of the ideas below.

• Examine the person’s living situation: If the person lives by him or herself, see if he or she is able and willing to move someplace closer to loved ones. Or investigate opportunities for socialization in his or her area.

• Try getting the person a pet: This is only if the person in question likes animals and has the means to support a pet.

• Does the person have a reliable means of transportation: If not, then rectifying that might help with isolation.

• Turn interests into hobbies: Does the person in question have any interests? There may be ways to use that interest to engage with others. For example, if he or she has an interest in volunteering, research volunteering opportunities in the local area.

Social isolation and depression do not have to come with advanced age. In fact, studies show that people tend to become less depressed as they grow older. Finding ways to engage with an isolated senior can help turn things around.

Aspen Healthcare serves the Dallas/Fort Worth Area as a premier provider of home health care, hospice, respiratory therapy, personal assistance, and private duty nursing. At Aspen, we are dedicated to our patients and pride ourselves on the quality of care we provide. We care for your family as you would. Call us today at (972) 316-2035.

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