Social isolation is a term that Diversional Therapists are quite familiar with. It is currently linked with the restrictions arising from Covid -19 infections but for many older people and people living with conditions such as dementia, disability and chronic pain, social isolation is a state which their age or health has imposed on them.
Declining health and advancing age often cause people to withdraw from their family and friends, the workforce and community events and obligations. Social isolation has a tendency to creep up on them and it becomes very difficult to halt. It can cause cognitive and physical decline and is often linked to loneliness, depression and anxiety. If not managed it has potential to cause harm to physical and mental well-being at any age.
A Diversional Therapist often comes across social isolation in the elderly, particularly in nursing home environments or where a person becomes a carer or the cared for. It becomes difficult to maintain community connections independently and their links with society fades away. It is almost as if they disappear from view.
Diversional Therapy can assist with keeping the mind and body active, reconnecting people with their community, and alleviating the effects of social isolation. This link provides some interesting information and tips on the prevention and management of this growing health threat.