Everyone gets old and requires care. Home Care Providers provide person-centered care, focusing on giving quality life to clients and their families. The past year has brought more challenges for elderly home care in Yorba Linda because of COVID-19. Mental health problems have affected people of all ages, including the elderly. The catastrophic event has helped us to determine what makes vital health and personal satisfaction with more clarity.
COVID, Mental Health and seniors
The mental health of older adults has received more attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it should because 95% of Americans who died due to COVID are over 50. We have begun to understand why COVID excessively affects older people, and the congregate nature of senior communities is one of the reasons.
This one-time event has caused an emotional, psychological and physical impact. Social isolation and loneliness have been existing problems for senior citizens even before the compulsory quarantines. Independent, nursing, and assisted living homes have always restricted access to professional caregivers and family members.
Older Adults, Loneliness, and Health
Loneliness affects over a third of adults aged 45 and more, whether at home or in senior living communities. Loneliness is a serious matter as it can lead to these risk factors.
- The risk of dementia and premature death increases by 50 percent with social isolation
- Loneliness is associated with an increased risk of heart disease by 29% and risk of stroke by 32%
- Lonely older adults experience higher rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide
The estimates of older adults experiencing depression and anxiety vary, with some showing remarkable resilience. A report by Kaiser Family Foundation found that one in four older adults experienced depression or anxiety during COVID-19.
The pandemic caused significant challenges for older adults with dementia and a higher risk for contracting the virus. Memory care communities struggled with maintaining physical distancing and safety protocols for residents with dementia because they require constant reminders to follow safety protocols, yet they do not understand the reason.
Studies show that older people with dementia are increasingly reporting psychiatric symptoms like stress, anxiety, and depression due to forced isolation. It is not surprising but does not capture the true nature of the tragic emotional impact of separation from family and friends. The challenge to monitor care for a loved one that you cannot visit further complicates matters.
Many of you know the effects of restricted visitation or losing a loved one. Video conferencing and phone calls do not substitute an in-person contact. Older adults even struggle with technological skills to access the video. Communities are opening up, and it is a good time for reconnecting with older people to rebuild relationships and improve mental wellness.
How Home Care Assistance Can Assist to Eliminate Isolation
Families uniting after the lifting of restrictions will be shocked by how isolation and worry have affected the elderly. Some communities are progressing slower than others in making mass vaccinations as restrictions begin lifting across the country. The reluctance by some families and older adults to let in caregivers to their homes and social isolation centers is starting to melt.
Home Care Providers can help older adults to regain their independence, physical and mental health in the following ways.
Companionship only somehow describes how older adults value the presence of other people. Families are vital in establishing a reconnection, but they cannot be there all time. Social connection makes feel protected and cared for, so it prevents loneliness. Companionship is a two-way process. Older adults benefit more from our in-home caregivers because they converse, share and form relationships with them.
- Cognitive Stimolation
Evidence suggests that activities that engage the mind prevent a decline in the thinking abilities of older adults with dementia. Home Care Assistance caregivers have customized activities for the individual needs of senior citizens with or without dementia. A few of the activities include assistance with games, technology, puzzles, crafts, and conversation.
- Reinforcing of Health Habits
Assisted living and nursing homes do not have enough staff members to reinforce healthy habits for seniors—those who live at home experience a more significant challenge. Home Care Assistance has enough caregivers. They go the extra mile to remind clients about hydrating, taking medication, preparing nutritious meals, and helping them to perform recommended exercises.
- Communication with the Family
A caregiver working at home or assisted living place should be extra eyes and ears. It can be difficult for families to know everything about a loved one at an elderly home care Yorba Linda. Our caregivers consistently report about changes or problems they sort out to the family.
Hope for the Future
Our commitment is to become part of the solution when re-engaging with loved ones is starting. Home Care Providers profoundly cares about our clients and their families. Let us all improve the mental health of the elderly by working together.