Loneliness and social isolation were already a growing problem among the elderly prior to COVID-19; the University of Michigan found in a survey that 52% of those that live along felt a lack of companionship compared with 39% of those who live with others or work. This is extremely pertinent to those who also claim to have fair or poor mental health, nearly 75% reported feeling isolated.
As this pandemic continues, we encourage the elderly and their loved ones to take into account these helpful guidelines to help treat loneliness:
1. Develop a schedule to talk to family and friends regularly. It is also important to confirm whom you can reach out to in case of an emergency and or assistance in getting food, medicine or other supplies.
2. Make a list of organizations that can help by creating a list of community and faith-based groups you can contact for information, health care services and or support.
3. Remember the value pets have especially during isolation. If you don’t already own a pet, but find the opportunity to pet sit or keep a pet temporarily, this may help alleviate the effects of loneliness.
To read more on the current statistics and additional resources, you can find more information here.