Louisville Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Shares the Dangers of Social Isolation for Elderly Nursing Home Residents

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Thousands of elderly Kentucky citizens live in nursing homes. All too often, we read stories of elderly nursing home residents who suffer from malnutrition, bedsores, falls, physical abuse, and medical neglect. Another form of neglect, social isolation, is more subtle, but no less harmful.

Social isolation is lack of contact with friends, relatives, and organizations. This is actually different from loneliness, because loneliness is a subjective experience or feeling. For example, one person may feel lonely because his children do not visit, yet still be involved in numerous groups throughout the nursing home. Another person may see only one visitor a week and never feel lonely. In the end, people have different emotional and social needs, but the one thing they all have in common, is that they need interaction with people.

Social isolation in Kentucky nursing homes occurs for the following reasons:

  • As people age, their social circles change due to life circumstances.
  • Family members move away or become busy with their own lives and do not visit.
  • Spouses and friends pass away.
  • Immobility may discourage or prevent some elderly nursing home residents from going out into the community or participating in group activities at the nursing home.
  • The nursing home may not offer group activities or have sufficient staff to accommodate the needs of their residents for social activities. These staff members may also purposefully neglect to involve some residents in group activities for many reasons.

No matter what the reason, the effects of social isolation can be devastating for a senior citizen. Social isolation and feelings of extreme loneliness can lead to complex health problems like depression, heart disease and other heart-related complications. It can also lead to a slow or poor response to medical treatments as well as premature death. Those who experience this emotional and mental trauma tend to have more health problems than those who are socially active.

Has Your Loved One Been Injured In A Nursing Home?

If you believe your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse you need to speak with an experienced Kentucky nursing home neglect attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.