Isolation is not caused by a single event. It is the result of many factors that contribute to feeling isolated and alone. And it’s even harder for seniors who struggle financially or with memory issues such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Contributing factors to isolation include:
- Challenges staying in contact with friends and family;
- Lack of access to quality resources, services, and transportation;
- Declining health, mobility and overall well-being;
- Life transitions: retirement, loss of a spouse, etc.
Issues with the telephone can amplify this problem in many ways. Seniors with memory issues sometimes lose track of the time of day, or call the same person over and over again. False 911 calls can lead to fines for families and frustration for emergency services. Stressed out caregivers often feel the only solution is to take the phone away, but then the senior becomes even more isolated and disconnected. A clear link has been established between physical and mental health and isolation and feelings of loneliness.