The Signs of Loneliness in Older Adults

When many of us think about mental health concerns, our first thoughts are anxiety and depression. However, there are many other conditions and feelings that can lead to a higher likelihood of experiencing mental health challenges. Our bodies and minds share a profound relationship, and some research has found that seniors who experience social isolation are at a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, cognitive decline, and more. How can you spot the signs of loneliness in older adults?

10 Signs of Loneliness to Watch for in Seniors

  1. Changes in their appetite, including eating less and showing disinterest in food and overeating

  2. Anger, which could manifest as being more argumentative or becoming more disengaged and non-responsive in conversation

  3. Changes to their sleep patterns and experiencing insomnia or poor-quality sleep

  4. Sudden alterations to spending or buying habits

  5. Using the internet more often

  6. Friends passing away

  7. Changes to their living situation or the neighborhood, including friends or long-time neighbors moving away

  8. Differences in how often they are calling or emailing you and how long you are on the phone

  9. Increased isolation at home or time spent alone in the house

  10. New or worsening mobility issues that prevent them from engaging in activities that they used to

What Can You Do to Help a Lonely Loved One?

It isn’t easy to talk about loneliness, and many elders have trouble talking openly about mental health challenges. Make sure that your loved one knows you are there to hear about their problems, big or small, and make a concerted effort to touch base with them regularly. Encourage your loved one to schedule time with you and other family members and friends to touch base on a daily or weekly basis, whether that means a video chat or exchanging cards through snail mail. One strategy for dealing with loneliness is forming new connections and deepening existing ones. Knitting groups, social groups, activity clubs, and even exercise classes are all great places to meet like-minded individuals and make new friends. Additionally, working with the right partners, like Senior Care Lifestyle, can help you ensure that your loved one is living in the right situation for their needs, whether that means assisted living or a senior living community.

Make the Right Choice with Senior Care Lifestyles
Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.

For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website

 This article submitted by Deb Bakalich, MSRN Member