Social Isolation continues to be a topic of discussion in the Care industry because of its threats to the physical and mental health among those who experience it.
Social Isolation costs Lives
Social Isolation is often closely tied with Loneliness, and this often leads to depression, social anxiety and other mental health conditions. People who experience Geographical isolation are vulnerable to health risks due to limited accessibility to medical services, food services and their community as a whole. In fact, Social isolation causes 1 out of 4 visits from senior patients to their General Physicians.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, one of the top causes of mortality among older adults aged 75 and above, is closely linked to Social Isolation.
Social Isolation costs money
Australia’s ageing population is costing the country more than $4.9 Billion annually in Dementia care. In 2015, in an international scale, countries spent a cumulative amount of US$ 18 billion and costs are projected to rise to US$ 2 trillion by 2030.
Meanwhile, the annual cost of depression to the Australian economy amounts to $12.6 Billion.
The risk of falls poses a significant expense when seniors are left alone and unassisted. From 2011-2012, 1 of 4 people admitted to hospitals after a fall, sustained hip or thigh injuries. 7 in 10 of people aged 65 and above who experienced falls had fallen in the confines of their homes. Falls cost the Australian Health System $1.1 Billion annually.
Are we ready to pay the price of Social Isolation?
There is a silver-lining to this truly troubling reality: Social Isolation is avoidable. Family members, friends, carers and the community all have a part to play in making sure that their older loved ones do not feel detached from their social activities and lose their self-worth.
It’s possible with the right attitude for caring and the right solutions.
At CareVision, we strive to create solutions in fighting Social Isolation and help build valuable connections between family members, carers, health professionals and seniors.
We recently published a Whitepaper emphasising the real human and financial costs of Social Isolation, and how we can do our part to stopping Social Isolation.