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The holidays are meant for fun-times with loved ones, family meals, and gift-giving. Sadly, this Christmas will be less than ideal for most of us. Public officials have asked Americans to social distance to prevent the further spread of novel coronavirus. For seniors, social distancing compounded by Holiday Blues could make the holidays even lonelier.
More than one-third of senior patients disclose that they are lonely according to physicians and nurses at Cedar-Sinai Hospital. And AARP reports, 43 percent of adults age 60 or older in the U.S. reported feeling lonely. This large percentage suggests that seniors are coping with two pandemics—covid-19 and loneliness.
There are serious consequences related to isolation and loneliness. Research tells us that loneliness and social isolation are linked to chronic illnesses such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart disease
- Premature death
Also, loneliness and social isolation are hidden and signs may go undetected by loved ones providing care. Sometimes pride may keep seniors from getting the help they need. In some instances, the decision to not burden others can keep a loved one from asking for help. Some seniors may suffer in silence because they have chosen to keep their feelings to themselves. As a caregiver, be diligent and reach out, but do so safely.
How to Help
Family and friends can help combat social isolation and loneliness. Here are a few suggestions:
- Use technology. Smartphones and laptops can help bring families face-to-face despite long-distances. AARP suggests setting up voice-activated technology like Alexa or Echo. Research proves human-technology interactions will help seniors stay engaged. Keep in mind, some seniors do not have access to Wi-Fi or do not know how to use technology. And troubleshooting might be a barrier.
- Pick up the phone and call. Reach out, schedule regular times to call.
- Get a pet. Nothing staves off loneliness like a loyal, goofy dog or cat.
- Reach out to local faith-based and community organizations. Keep these numbers handy—just in case.
- Consider Assisting Hands® Home Care. Caregivers are available to fill in the gaps when the family cannot.
Give Yourself the Gift of Peace of Mind
Your loved one doesn’t have to be alone for the holidays. Assisting Hands® Home Care offers respite care. According to WebMD.com, respite care is a special name for a short-term break for caregivers. Taking care of a loved one is rewarding, but it comes at a price. AARP says, exhaustion, both emotional and physical, can put a caregiver in the danger zone. Most caregivers call this “burn Out”. More than a third of family caregivers rate their job as highly stressful emotionally, and nearly 1 in 5 reports a high level of physical strain, according to the “Caregiving in the U.S. 2020” report from AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC).
AARP explains precisely, every caregiver needs a caregiver.
This is a great time to call Assisting Hands® Home Care. Caregivers will look after your senior loved ones when you need time to take care of yourself. And Assisting Hands understands that life can sometimes bring unexpected circumstances which is why their compassionate and dependable caregivers are here for you and your loved one.
Assisting Hands respite care services include:
- Personal Care
- Meal Preparation
- Grocery Shopping
- Light Housekeeping
Learn more about Assisting Hands at https://www.assistinghands.com
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