Lonely elders hit hard by the rigors of social distancing and self-isolation; they may need help, says AMAC

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

  It’s no secret that America’s elderly population is among the hardest hit by the COVID pandemic. Not only are they at higher risk of infection, those who live alone are more likely to succumb to the loneliness of precautionary self-isolation, says Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].

  How bad is it for our senior population? 

  “Bad enough that desperate residents of a long-term care facility in Greely, CO, sick and tired of COVID-19 restrictions, recently staged a protest. Many of them were in wheelchairs and holding signs that read ‘Rather die from COVID than loneliness,’ ‘Prisoners in our own home’ and ‘Give us freedom’,” says Weber.

  She notes that Pew Research recently found that 27% of adults ages 60 and older live alone in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control reports that many of them are socially isolated or lonely in ways that put their health at risk. In fact, the CDC cites studies that show:

  Social isolation significantly increased a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.

  Social isolation was associated with about a 50% percent increased risk of dementia.

  Poor social relationships (characterized by social isolation or loneliness) was associated with a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% increased risk of stroke.

  Loneliness was associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.

  Loneliness among heart failure patients was associated with a nearly 4 times increased risk of death, 68% increased risk of hospitalization, and 57% increased risk of emergency department visits.

  “Those of us who have what we might call normal lifestyles feel lonely when we haven’t seen our friends and family in more than a couple of days. Imagine not having friends and family in the best of times and now that the world is dealing with the deadly coronavirus your norm is solitary confinement,” says Weber.

  Here are some Websites that may provide you with ideas on how to overcome the perils of loneliness if you, a neighbor, a loved one are exhibiting the rigors of self-isolation and masked faces:

https://www.volunteermatch.org/virtual-volunteering

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-cope-with-loneliness-during-coronavirus-4799661

https://www.priorygroup.com/blog/ways-to-cope-with-feeling-lonely-in-coronavirus-self-isolation

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2020/solutions-around-world-tackling-loneliness-and-social-isolation-during-covid-19

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-prevent-loneliness-in-a-time-of-social-distancing/

Staff (5630 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Oracle School District Extends Online Learning For Now

    November 30th, 2020
    by

    Oracle Elementary School District Community, Last week, our Governing Board approved the District’s recommendation to continue distance learning at Mountain […]


    Kenneth Andrew Guyton

    November 30th, 2020
    by

      Kenneth Andrew Guyton was born in Tucson Sept. 6, 1966. Oracle was his home from April 1967 until he […]


    Delays on State Route 77 in Winkelman to begin Nov. 30

    November 30th, 2020
    by

    Motorists who use the Gila River Bridge on State Route 77 in Winkelman should expect intermittent delays starting Tuesday, Dec. […]


    Juanita Sharae Church

    November 30th, 2020
    by

      Juanita Sharae Church was born May 16, 1971 in Page, Arizona to loving parents, Richard Church and Alva Evans.  […]


  • Additional Stories

    Mayor and Councilwoman recognized for many years of service

    November 30th, 2020
    by

      At the Nov. 16 meeting of the Kearny Town Council, Mayor Debra Sommers and Councilwoman Sheila Stephenson were recognized […]


    Kearny Vet honored at Norm’s IGA

    November 30th, 2020
    by

      He served his country, answering the call when the nation needed him. George Armenta, who is now 90 years […]


    HWUSD getting a makeover

    November 18th, 2020
    by

      The Hayden High School and Leonor Hambly K-8 Elementary School classrooms are getting a new look with the old […]


    Hayden cancels winter sports season

    November 18th, 2020
    by

      The Hayden-Winkelman Unified School District announced last week that it will continue distance learning online through the end of […]


  • Copperarea

  • Southeast Valley Ledger