In case you don’t know me or keep up with my social media, please allow me to share a few things about myself.
Not only am I the owner of Home Helpers® Clearwater, I am an active member of the Community Warriors Power Partners, and I enjoy connecting and engaging with colleagues, clients, and members of the North Pinellas and West Pasco communities by participating in local activities and events. In addition, I love spending quality time with my family and doing fun things with them whenever possible. In short, I am anything but socially isolated!
Unfortunately, I often meet seniors who are, and it is troubling, to say the least, especially considering the negative repercussions that exist. Social isolation is an epidemic that negatively impacts the health of seniors.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently reported, “(Social isolation) is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death. The mortality impact of being socially disconnected is similar to that caused by smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity and physical inactivity.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) points out that more than one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated.1 Older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation because they are more likely to face factors such as living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss.”
In as much as loneliness and social isolation can be difficult to quantify, HHS and CDC concur that studies clearly indicate there is evidence that adults aged 50+ who are socially isolated are at greater risk of the health conditions mentioned above:
- Premature Death. Social isolation significantly increased the risk of premature death more than smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.
- Dementia. Social isolation was associated with a 50% increased risk of dementia.
- Heart Disease and Stroke. Social isolation and loneliness were associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke.
- Heart Failure. Loneliness among heart failure patients was associated with nearly 4 times increased risk of death, 68% increased risk of hospitalization and 57% increased risk of emergency room visits.
- Mental Health. Loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
So, what can be done to minimize social isolation while decreasing negative health outcomes?
Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, United States Surgeon General suggests, “Each of us can start now, in our own lives, by strengthening our connections and relationships. Our individual relationships are an untapped resource—a source of healing hiding in plain sight. They can help us live healthier, more productive, and more fulfilled lives. Answer that phone call from a friend. Make time to share a meal. Listen without the distraction of your phone. Perform an act of service. Express yourself authentically. The keys to human connection are simple but extraordinarily powerful.”
Home Helpers® is a locally owned, trusted provider of quality, compassionate in-home care services for seniors in Clearwater that is not limited to remaining in the home. The caregivers I employ enjoy providing companion care for outings with our clients, like shopping, sharing meals at favorite restaurants, seeing movies, taking walks, and participating In community events.
Please remember, if you or a senior loved one is experiencing social isolation and loneliness and you notice signs of anxiety, depression, or other mental or physical conditions, I strongly encourage you to speak with a doctor as soon as possible. I also suggest that you reach out to the local and national resources available to find ways to improve your quality of life.
A Home Helpers® a professional caregiver can provide companionship that can make life easier and more enjoyable. I am happy to offer a FREE Consultation to assess specific needs and create a customized care plan for an affordable solution to do what we do best…help!
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have been ranked among the Home Care Pulse Top 100 Leaders in Experience for home care providers in 2023 and to have received the Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award 2023, the Best of Home Care® Employer of Choice Award 2023, and the Best of Home Care® Leader in Experience Award 2023.
We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson, and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠ 727.942.2539
Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention