There are many factors that cause older adults to enter nursing homes including declining health and the ability to care for themselves independently. A recent study indicates that social isolation is tied to a higher risk of older adults entering a nursing home.
A recent article on the news website Medical Xpress explains how Mary Louise Pomeroy, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her colleagues evaluated whether higher levels of social isolation are associated with overnight hospitalization, skilled nursing facility stays, and nursing home placements.
“The researchers found that approximately 15 percent of community-dwelling older U.S. adults experienced social isolation, which was significantly associated with increased odds of nursing home placement and skilled nursing facility stays over two years,” according to the article.
Social interaction and inclusivity can be vital to improve health trajectories and outcomes for older adults. Older adults should seek involvement in community settings to enhance social interactions. Friends and family regularly visiting older adults can help as well.
Although social isolation is correlated with nursing facility stays and nursing home placements, home care continues to grow in popularity. But what do boomers want?
The American Seniors Housing Association released a survey to determine who boomers are and what they want as they age. Over 7,000 people aged 55 to 74 completed the survey between December 2021 and March 2022.
About 60% of respondents answered that they were considering transitioning to a senior living community within the next 4 years, and about 25% stated that they preferred staying in their own home. However, 25% increased to 55% when some sort of care or assistance was needed.
Most respondents stated that remaining independent and self-sufficient was most important. Things that boomers find most important in their living areas include:
Benefits of a senior living community include having activities and events for residents to partake in which can help keep seniors engaged and socialized. Many senior communities place emphasis on events for residents to mingle so they are not alone. Additionally, many senior buildings will also provide transportation for trips into town, grocery stores, and the like.
Social isolation can be a big barrier that seniors face in maintaining their health and independence. In the next several years, many of the 76 million boomers living in the U.S. will be transitioning into senior housing.
If you have any questions about home care for your loved ones, you can contact us. You can also check out the rest of our blog posts on our website.
Written by Madison Chalmers
Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik