Loneliness is the feeling of sadness because one has no friends or company. This particular feeling is representative of what many senior citizens living at home undergo every day, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. Due to the Coronavirus many families stop visiting their elderly parents at their homes for fear of transmitting the disease. Nursing homes and Assisted living facilities banned visitors for several months. For those who live with their caregiver, they can still suffer from loneliness. Caregivers who are at home due to the Coronavirus, are exhausted from working at home, homeschooling their children, on top of the responsibilities they tend to every day. Hence, family caregivers do not have the time to take care of and engage with their elderly parents, which leads to seniors feeling lonely.
What many people do not quite understand is, loneliness can lead to many mental health conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.” Another study performed by the National Institute of Aging (NIA) suggests there is a distinct connection between loneliness and health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.
Fortunately, there are many ways to mitigate the loneliness seniors suffer. For example, physical exercise to help provide seniors with something productive and meaningful to do. There is the option of taking Seniors to an Adult Day Care and Senior Centers, their services provide seniors with purposeful social interaction that can advance a long way to improve both mental and physical help.
However, many are closed due to the pandemic. As a result, many centers offer virtual activities seniors can engage in to keep them connected to others. These include active workout tutorials on YouTube, personal wellness discussions, arts and crafts, even board games. Here at Legacy Care Club, we host Scattergories, Bingo, and Trivia, which can all have a significant impact on one’s cognitive skills. For seniors residing in Somerset County, NJ check out their list of virtual activities.
The Institute on Aging (IOA) also provides seniors with much-needed support during the Coronavirus pandemic via telephone. They offer the Friendship Line (800-971-0016), which is available 24/7 for seniors 60 and above. Seniors can ultimately receive the assistance and engagement they deserve.