The Alarming Link Between Isolation and Alzheimer’s Progression
In the past several years since COVID-19 became a household term, seniors, who are most vulnerable to severe complications from the virus, became more isolated in order to stay safe. And while we already were aware that there are health risks connected with loneliness and isolation, we’re now beginning to realize another serious concern: how isolation and Alzheimer’s progression are linked.
Since people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia may struggle to understand and follow safety precautions, like wearing face coverings, reporting symptoms, and social distancing, isolation for these individuals became especially critical. But while maintaining these seniors’ physical health was the top priority, it’s also important to pay attention to their emotional wellbeing, which can also be negatively impacted without sufficient socialization.
How Does Isolation Impact the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease?
According to Erica Farrell, clinical manager at the Alzheimer’s Association of Washington, caregivers are “seeing more rapid progression during this time where everyone is more anxious and there are fewer supports.” And founder of Aging Wisdom, Lisa Mayfield, adds, “We’re starting to see some real impact of these past three months and I think it’s starting to get attention like this isn’t working anymore.”
For family caregivers, whose already high level of stress during the pandemic was exacerbated by concerns about their older loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, the impact can lead to their own health risks. Self-care is all the more vital for family caregivers, who are encouraged by Farrell to find and connect with a local support group, or to contact the 24/7 caregiver helpline at 800-272-3900 for someone to talk to. It can also help to start journaling, recording your daily thoughts and worries, to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine, and to get plenty of sleep every night.
As the leading provider of Alzheimer’s care in Santa Rosa, CA and the surrounding areas, Hired Hands Homecare is always here to help as well. Reach out to our dementia care team at (866) 940-4343 any time to learn more about our customized in-home care for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
Our caregivers are on hand to provide seniors with the socialization and skilled care they need, and their family caregivers with time away to rest and recharge. Whether the need is for just a couple of hours each week to allow you time to yourself, overnight care for a senior with sundowning issues, or any of a wide range of other arrangements, Hired Hands Homecare is here with the solution you need to make life safer, more comfortable, and more enjoyable for someone with dementia.