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What Social Isolation is Doing to Your Loved-ones and How to Help

| March 24, 2020
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Happy to share this timely article from one of our referral partners, The Seniors Answer...

“The health effects of loneliness are astounding,”

says Carla Perissinotto, Associate Chief of Geriatrics Clinical Program at U.C. San Francisco. Loneliness causes stress, and long-term stress leads to more frequent elevations of cortisol, a key stress hormone.  It also is linked to higher levels of inflammation in the body, which damages blood vessels and other tissues and increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, joint disease, depression and obesity – all of which lead to a shortened life. Humans are social animals. The research is now clear that people who have a “village” age much better than those who don’t. 

The effects of Coronavirus are not only having severe effects on our physical health, they also effecting our mental health. To control the virus, we must practice “social distancing.” But, in doing so, we isolate ourselves from others who provide the emotional sustenance we need for our day-to-day lives. And, this need is greatly heightened in the pandemic situation we are facing for weeks or months to come. Isolation leaves people vulnerable in an emergency. In today’s world we can get the basics remotely with ride-sharing, Instacarte, Amazon and other delivery services. But, while these fill the product or service need, they only make the senior feel lonelier. Loneliness breeds depression.

Just as seniors and those in high-risk categories face the greatest danger to their physical health, they also face the greatest danger to their mental health and well-being.

You can help those you know and, even those you don’t know. 

For your loved-ones, call or video call them at least once a day to say hello, find out how they are feeling – medically and emotionally, tell them you love them and are here to help. Talk about something uplifting such as the sun, what their grandchildren are learning via virtual classes, etc. Find out what meals or other supplies you can bring and tell them when you or a family member will be visiting. Encourage them to get involved with online classes through the many OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) programs offered at most colleges or other live, online classes and meetings.   

For those you don’t know, make contact with them in the grocery store, help them with their shopping or loading groceries on the belt. Ask them how they are doing and if they need any help. Smile as much as you can and say we’ve gotten through difficult times in the past and we will get through this to, that their life matters and you care about them. Give to causes that are directly helping people in your community. 

At The Seniors Answer we are practicing what we preach. We are calling our clients often to see how they are doing physically and emotionally and what we can do to help them. If you know of anyone who can use our help to talk to the seniors in your life, call us – we are here for you.  

If you have questions or need information about your loved-one’s life management issues don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love helping our clients get the information and assistance they need from personal issues to daily money management, home management and more. For more information, call Corrine at 305-646-1833 or email her.

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The Seniors’ Answer is the idea of founder Corrine Markey. After handling all the “Life Management Services” for her aunt, Corrine realized she could use her compassion and talents as a business person and adviser to help seniors and their families. She has experienced and understands how overwhelming and exhausting it is to assess what a family member needs, perform all the life management tasks, obtain quality counsel, evaluate options and arrange for services. Corrine provides compassionate, competent and trustworthy assistance to seniors and their families helping them with their daily life issues and enabling them to be independent.

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