Often being socially isolated is correlated with feelings of being alone.
Social Isolation is an objective measure of the number of contacts or social connections. One may actively choose to not interact with others and not have feelings of loneliness. However, most often being socially isolated is correlated with feelings of being alone. According to Helen Beaman, MSW, whom is a part of Oregon’s Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative, socially isolated older adults are likely to be sicker and die sooner, have higher health care expenses, and are more likely to need long-term care, than those who retain their social connections. Isolation can lead to pessimism about aging and increasing fears about the future. There are many socio-demographic risk factors that lead to social isolation with age being one of the main components.
Caregivers are also at high risk for social isolation.
As the individual whom they care for loses their ability to socialize, the caretaker also misses out on the opportunity to maintain social connections. It can be challenging to make plans ahead or get out of the house when your loved one is unpredictable with their needs or loses mobility. Sometimes feelings of embarrassment, anxiety or exhaustion from explaining to others diminishes the motivation to connect with loved ones.