Don’t Let Social Distancing Isolate Elders

This article originally appeared on the NICOA blog.

Seniors gather in an auditorium at Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County in Miami. Photograph: Brynn Anderson/AP

Although the implementation of social distancing is necessary to flatten the coronavirus curve and prevent the current pandemic from worsening, the stress of isolation can have an affect on anyone. With elders designated as “high risk,” elders and those supporting them worry that precautions could further isolate this vulnerable community, exacerbating loneliness and stress.

Chronic stress is harmful to your health and can be particularly hazardous for elders. Although it’s difficult to determine the extent to which chronic stress affects the health of elders, there is undoubtedly a correlation.

Here are some articles discussing both the need to stay socially distant during this time, but also the impact that this isolation can have on people, especially elders.

Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe

Isolation of older Americans prompts fears amid coronavirus

The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence

Coronavirus risks making older people lonelier than they already are

Coronavirus social distancing: How to stay sane

Coronavirus will also cause a loneliness epidemic

Isolation-Induced Depression in Seniors

Quarantine is effective but stressful tool against coronavirus

A Coronavirus Guide for Older Adults (And Their Family Advocates)

 

 

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.