What You Can Do to Combat Senior Isolation & Health Risks

The act of social distancing can be lifesaving, though social withdrawal can have negative impacts on health. Fortunately, you can protect loved ones while lowering risk factors that come with social isolation.

Socialization is vital to humankind across the lifespan, including in senior citizens. 

In fact, feelings of loneliness and isolation in older people can lead to a number of health risks, including:

  • Depression and other consequences to psychological well-being
  • High blood pressure and heart disease
  • Inflammation in the body
  • Increased morbidity (illness) and mortality (death) rates

But uncertainty remains on the horizon amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This has triggered precautions of social distancing, especially those considered high-risk such as seniors. 

Fortunately, there are ways to protect loved ones while lowering risk factors that come with social isolation. 

Vital Tips to Protect from Elderly Loneliness & Negative Outcomes

Fight elderly loneliness while improving their overall health with these applicable tips you can do now. 

Ways to Break Down Barriers of Senior Isolation

Visiting your loved one for ease of mind and comfort is likely the first inclination, though resist the urge to visit older adults and practice social distancing. 

Social distancing carries over to older adults living in nursing homes, independent living, and other facilities. If carrying a contagious virus, you run the risk of infecting your loved one and dozens of at-risk seniors. 

Guard seniors from contracting the virus and social withdrawal with technology. Being creative with interaction ideas can protect from social isolation and loneliness in older adults, too.

Take Advantage of Technology

While social activities may look different, technology allows seniors to connect with loved ones while ensuring the utmost safety. 

Fortunately, a number of seniors are no longer disconnected from technology. The Pew Research Center reports 67 percent of people aged 65 and older go online. Adults ages 65 and up who own smartphones have also risen from 18 to 42 percent since 2013.

Have face-to-face contact with FaceTime or computer webcam or chat virtually with messengers. Beyond basic check-ins, consider these creative ways to interact with your loved one virtually:

  • Have a tea party or coffee visit. 
  • Start a virtual book club and discuss the chapters.
  • Eat meals and snacks together.
  • Interview your loved one about their upbringing. 
  • Tackle an in-home workout, including core and chair exercises

Likewise encourage solo technology exploration, including laughing at a funny movie or learning a new topic on the internet. 

Other Ways to Connect with Isolated Older Adults

Using technology is one of the best ways to connect with others while being distanced. However, there are other ways to bring a smile on your loved ones face, including:

  • Make a homemade card and deliver it in their mailbox.
  • Stick personal notes and messages under their doormat or in a mailbox.
  • Send a crossword puzzle, as keeping the mind stimulated can boost brain function.
  • Surprise them with a homemade batch of fresh cookies.

Also get the whole family involved, as well as neighbors, family friends, and others your loved one has relationships with. 

How to Ensure a Balanced Diet

Feeling nervous and unsettled can dull appetite, though the importance of maintaining good nutrition cannot be stressed enough.

Ensure your loved one is maintaining a balanced diet by assisting in grocery shopping and meal prepping. Considering a meal delivery service can be helpful, too. 

Assist in Grocery Retrieval & Meal Prep

Seniors can take advantage of “senior hours” at delivery options from select grocers. As a caregiver, you can likewise step in to make sure foods are selected to nourish your loved one. 

Try to gather and stock fresh, frozen, canned, and pouched varieties of:

  • Whole grains such as steamable rice and oats.
  • Fruits and veggies in varying colors.
  • Animal protein sources, including eggs, chicken, turkey, and tuna.
  • Beans, lentils, and other legumes.
  • Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese.

Deliver groceries while assisting with meal prep as needed. Take advantage of simple meal ideas, including scrambled eggs, overnight oats, slow cooker chili, and batched soup. 

Also offer convenient snacks, including pre-sliced veggies, string cheese, and individual containers of Greek yogurt. Having these nutrient-dense snacks on hand encourages their intake.

Consider a Meal Delivery Service 

There is no denying acting as caregiver is gratifying, but the role can also be taxing on overall wellbeing. And just as loved ones need support, so do caregivers.

A meal delivery service is one way caregivers can receive support for both themselves and their ones. And especially during stressful times, one less off a heavy meal plate is helpful in countless ways. 

Silver Cuisine is an a la carte meal delivery service that provides doctor-designed meals delivered straight to doorsteps. Each meal is crafted by seasoned chefs with the freshest of ingredients. 

Founding physician Dr. Caroline Cederquist has devoted her life to helping her patients achieve maximum health and wellness. And using medically-based science, correct portion sizes, and, most of all, paying special attention to providing exceptional taste, Silver Cuisine is an easy solution.

Silver Cuisine was specifically designed to make enjoying a hot, healthy, delicious meal each and every day simple and convenient. A Silver plan can do the following for you and your loved one:

  • Plan the nutrition of menus
  • Shop for ingredients
  • Prepare and cook all meals
  • Deliver meals directly to you

All that is left to do is heat a nutritious and delicious meal whenever ready to enjoy!

Also thanks to an easy ordering process, simply filter by special diets to meet individual needs, including the following options:

  • Heart-healthy
  • Gluten-free
  • Diabetic
  • Low-sodium
  • Dairy-free
  • Mediterranean
  • Vegetarian

You have the freedom and flexibility to order as many meals and snacks as desired and needed. This is all without the worry commitments or minimum orders.

So if you want to take the guesswork out of meal planning and preparation, Silver Cuisine can do just that with your loved one’s best interest in mind!

Remember to Manage Overall Senior Health

During such times of stress, it can be easy to forget about other health issues your loved one may be managing. 

However, it is just as important to monitor symptoms of coronavirus as well as other health conditions. This may include blood sugars and blood pressures. 

Likewise consider other factors essential to healthy senior living, including stress management and sleep hygiene. Ensuring an active lifestyle is equally as important for physical, mental, and emotional benefits.