For Older People, Despair, as Well as Covid-19, Is Costing Lives

August 07, 2020

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The New York Times

Physical isolation during COVID-19 may increase suicide risk among older adults. While those living in residential care facilities have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, the majority of older adults living at home have also been affected. Isolation and disrupted routine—being cut off from social contact and meaningful activity—can cause declines in both mental and physical health. A recent opinion piece suggests young people reach out to older adults to help renew their sense of connection and purpose. This could include offering physically distanced companionship or connecting them with virtual activities, such as volunteer opportunities. The author also recommends that nursing homes and assisted living facilities offer residents the chance to safely exercise, spend time outdoors, and connect with others.

Spark Extra! Learn how to reduce loneliness and social isolation among older adults.