Seniors are often confined to staying indoors during the winter. The harsh cold climate can have severe effects on the health of seniors, which is why it is a good thing to advise them to stay indoors in winter. However, staying indoors for a long time during winter can spike a sense of isolation in seniors.
Senior isolation can have serious effects on their emotional, mental, as well as physical health. As per the study published in the Journal of Primary Prevention, “Social isolation has been demonstrated to lead to numerous detrimental health effects in older adults, including increased risk for all-cause mortality, dementia, increase risk for re-hospitalization, and an increased number of falls.” Reports also say that isolation in seniors can even increase the risk of dying early by around 14%.
The reports by the University of Chicago state that, “Feeling isolated from others can disrupt sleep, elevate blood pressure, increase morning rises in the stress hormone cortisol, alter gene expression in immune cells, increase depression and lower overall subjective well-being.” Besides, age-related health problems, such as incontinence, vision impairment, and hearing loss, can further increase the sense of isolation in seniors during winter. This makes it very important to take the right measures to keep seniors happy during winter and prevent any kind of senior isolation.
How Assisted Living Can Help
Assisted living communities have all the amenities to make sure that seniors can have a good time with fellow residents inside the facility during winter. In addition, they have trained professionals to take care of their senior residents at the site round-the-clock, which ensures that all their health concerns and personal needs are managed well.
Some assisted living communities even organize special interactive programs during the wintertime to engage and entertain seniors. This keeps them happy and comfortable at the assisted living facility, even if the harsh winter climate keeps their families from visiting them in person.
Assisted living communities also make sure that there are no risks of senior malnutrition in winter. They provide healthy meals as per the diet requirements of their senior residents. Moreover, they will also have the means necessary for the safe transportation of seniors in case of an emergency.
You can also encourage your seniors to use modern technologies to stay in touch with you. This will come especially handy when the weather turns worse and you cannot visit the assisted living facility. A simple phone call or video chat can work greatly to keep your connections strong and avoid senior isolation.