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Americans of all ages are experiencing increased social isolation and loneliness. According to the National Institute on Aging, nearly 14 million older adults in the U.S. live alone and are especially vulnerable during this time. Their research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions: high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death. Anderson County Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions program is encouraging people to engage in meaningful, productive activities to help boost mood and maintain their overall emotional health and well-being.
“It is important to find ways to connect and engage in activities to help mitigate symptoms of anxiety and depression during this time,” said Beth Anderson, BSN, RN, Program Director, ACH Senior Life Solutions. “We put together these quick tips to share with our communities and hope they will encourage self-care and support.”
Quick Tips for Older Adults Experiencing Social Isolation
Quick Tips for Families
Quick Tips for Caregivers
How to Care for Yourself
“Think of self-care like putting on an oxygen mask on an airplane,” Anderson added. “The flight attendant always instructs travelers to put on their own mask before securing others. You must take care of yourself right now to continue caring for and supporting those around you.”
If you or a loved one is in need, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (800) 985-5990 that provides 24/7, 365-day-a- year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Additionally, older adults and adults living with disabilities can contact the Institute on Aging’s 24-hour toll-free Friendship Line, an accredited crisis line at 800-971-0016. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, go to your nearest emergency room or dial 911.
Information provided by Jordan Ferguson, Director - Marketing and Public Relations, Saint Luke’s Health System.
DON'T risk battling the flu and Covid-19 all at the same time and exposing your family and friends. Now is the time to get your flu shot.
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