When the weather is a beautiful 70 degree sunny day in the middle of the spring, your loved one who is aging in place can enjoy having the windows open and hearing the world pass by. He/she can easily have visitors coming and going without much of a thought. However, when the winter months come and cause roads to be slippery and temperatures plummet, windows will be locked shut and visitors may be few and far between. That’s why those who are aging in place can be at a greater risk for social isolation.
What is social isolation?
Social isolation is a feeling of loneliness that often comes from having no or very little connection with the outside world. This can occur at any age but those who are aging in place can be particularly susceptible to this type of issue. Social isolation can lead to depression and poor health.
The winter months can present a particular problem for those aging in place as it is likely that they will see fewer visitors and have less connection with neighbors during these months. Without a feeling of connection to those around them and their loved ones folks who are aging in place can slip deep into depression and find themselves unable to cope with their living situation.
This issue of social isolation can be resolved in a few ways. Checking in on your loved ones either on the phone or in person can help significantly. If you’re not nearby and you can’t check in in person, find a neighbor or other senior who is willing to stop over and visit for companionship. Spend quality time with your loved one and make it for a specific amount of time so they get a true sense of caring.
Spending time with your loved one is important for their mental health year round, but particularly when the winter weather is at it’s most chilling this becomes incredibly important.