How quarantine could affect the elderly

  • May 27, 2020
    How quarantine could affect the elderly

    The coronavirus outbreak is a worldwide pandemic that is changing how countries, businesses and people operate. To prevent the epidemic from worsening, governments have enforced a total lockdown in countries affected by the coronavirus, including several states in the U.S.

    However, while the rapid implementation of self-quarantine is necessary to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, it could potentially cause a "social recession." The home health care Nebraska professionals believe this is a reduction in social contact between individuals and the most vulnerable populations it will affect are the elderly.

    Loneliness in older people

    Older people tend to develop feelings of loneliness as they get older, which can be caused by the following:

    • The death of a spouse

    • Losing their independence

    • Not being as active as they were in their younger days

    As a result, it's common to find elderly individuals isolating themselves from society, especially when they feel they are a burden to their families. Unfortunately, the new social distancing measures will negatively impact older people.

    For instance, if your loved ones live away from you, visiting them isn't an option anymore, as you might expose them to the virus. Therefore, the little effort you were making to see them reduce their sense of loneliness is no longer a viable option.

    Effects of self-quarantine on the elderly

    A recent report shows that social isolation is a leading cause of premature mortality among older adults. Additionally, 50 percent of older people have an increased risk of developing dementia and a 29 percent risk of contracting coronary heart disease due to social isolation.

    Moreover, older people in isolation can become depressed and eventually commit suicide to avoid feeling lonely. The self-quarantine can also contribute to feelings of anxiety and confusion as many older people don't comprehend what's happening. To make it worse, if your loved one has Alzheimer's disease, it can be challenging to explain to them repeatedly why they can't go out or visit their friends.

    How you can help your elders feel less lonely during quarantine

    As we start to get used to the new normal, there are ways to help your elderly parents through these lonely times. You can stay connected with them through technology. Making a phone call or video chatting can help them feel less isolated. Daily or weekly calls can help make sure your loved one is doing fine or needs groceries.

    However, if you do not live near your aging parent or are too busy, consider hiring an in-home caregiver. A home health care Nebraska caregiver provides your senior loved one the companionship they need. Whether seniors need help bathing, cooking breakfast or getting groceries, a caregiver can help them out. It gives you the peace of mind that your parents are safe during this pandemic. 

    Need help for the elderly living at home?

    Contact Akkase Home Health Care today to get home health care Nebraska services during this difficult time.