Loneliness is one of the most significant health concerns affecting older adults. Over one million older individuals can go at least one month without conversing with a friend or family member. Loneliness affects a person's mental health, leading to negative thoughts, low self-esteem, and even despair. Some subtle indications of loneliness in the older population include:
1. Restless sleep
If your parents are complaining about being more tired than usual or experiencing frequent episodes of lousy sleep, discuss their daily activities with them. The lonelier a person feels, the more disordered their sleep gets. Poor quality sleep has disastrous outcomes among the elderly.
2. Difficulty Concentrating
- Do they appear uninterested or restless?
- Do they have trouble keeping up with the conversation?
- Do they seem to have difficulty hearing or request that information be repeated?
If they portray one or more of the signs listed, they are probably experiencing loneliness.
Occasionally, loneliness can manifest as rage, particularly in older individuals who may feel embarrassed about being alone but are too proud to tell their loved ones. Anger can also arise when people feel misunderstood, left out of decisions, or unheard. They feel isolated. Anger does not always manifest as yelling or arguing; a loved one may become quiet, disinterested, or generally hostile.
4. Memory Loss
Do they have trouble recalling the names of family and friends? Have they forgotten about the recent past? Do they appear bewildered or overwhelmed? Those are significant signs of loneliness.
5. Increase in Internet Use
While we may view the internet as a terrific method for our more tech-savvy loved ones to stay in touch, it can signify loneliness when it becomes the sole means for an older person to interact with people. Older persons who feel solitary and utilize the internet to interact with new people have greater emotional loneliness.
Your older individual acquaintance or relative may be too proud to express loneliness honestly. However, they may drop indications such as stating they wish they could see you more often, that they miss specific people, or do not wish to be a burden. These are all indicators to watch out for. If your loved one is using this language, it is a good idea to inquire about how they are feeling and whether they require assistance.
How Professional Caregivers Can Help Senior's Loneliness
In addition to providing primary care and administering medication, professional caregivers interact with their clients; befriend them to provide them with much-needed interaction while maintaining their physical and mental wellbeing. Knowing that their regular caregiver is knowledgeable and skilled in recognizing the early indicators of health issues affecting them provides seniors with peace of mind.
By interacting with, reassuring, and supporting their clients, caregivers ease several anxieties and pressures that, if left untreated, could lead to significant mental health problems. This is a substantial component of what Senior Helpers San Mateo provides to the communities they serve in San Mateo, Redwood City, Burlingame, and Millbrae.
The Caring Senior Helpers of San Mateo
If you or a loved one are suffering any of the aforementioned loneliness symptoms, you must consult a healthcare expert immediately. Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the direr the issue will get.