The Dangers of Social Isolation
Social isolation, particularly amongst the elderly, is a silent menace that affects a huge proportion of the US population. A recent study by the AARP Public Policy Institute at Stanford and Harvard Universities found that 14% of over 65s in the survey suffered from social isolation. While there is an increased amount of awareness of the problem, social isolation still isn’t acknowledged to the level it should be, which is why here at Main Line Adult Day Care, we want to highlight some of the potential dangers of social isolation so you or your loved one can be helped in avoiding this silent peril.
Increased likelihood of chronic illness
One of the main factors that the study showed was that there is a clear link between social isolation and the increased likelihood of a chronic illness such as depression, heart conditions, and even Alzheimer’s or dementia. While social isolation may, in fact, mean that people are not getting the treatment they need for these chronic issues rather than directly causing them, the main point is that by not acknowledging and confronting the matter, we’re failing to care for a large proportion of our society.
Increased likelihood of premature death
Along with the increased likelihood of chronic illness, the study showed that there was an increased likelihood of death, with sufferers of social isolation one third more likely to die within the next six years. By recognizing and treating the causes of social isolation, we could dramatically reduce the number of premature deaths in our elderly communities.
Aging at home
For many people, being able to live out your years of retirement in your own home is an idealized dream. It’s seen as the most independent and successful way of aging, but studies suggest that people that do this are more likely to suffer from social isolation and therefore the dangers this brings. The social stigma of adult care centers is that it takes away one’s independence, but many people who move to them find that in fact, the freedom it gives actually increases independence and also allows new social relationships that reduce feelings of social isolation to blossom.
At Main Line Adult Day Care, we want to fight the silent peril that is social isolation. Our facilities and staff allow our guests to live out an independent and fulfilling life where they can form new friendships and keep feelings of social isolation far away. If you suspect yourself or your loved one would benefit from care at Main Line Adult Day Care, contact us today for a visit to our center and see for yourself how we can help you!