Social Isolation and Loneliness Essay

social isolation and loneliness essay

Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 Pandemic is a global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, first discovered in Wuhan, China. The symptoms range from fatigue, dry cough, and fever, and they tend to be more severe in elderly patients. Social isolation and loneliness is an objective state of having infrequent social contact with other people or few social relationships. Get legit paper writing services now!

One of the most severe non-medical consequences of the Pandemic is social isolation and loneliness, which resulted from the quarantining of the patients and social distancing. The loneliness results in physical and mental health problems, which tend to worsen the conditions of elderly patients. It tends to increase the risk of suicide, anxiety, depression, dementia, cognitive decline, stroke, and diabetes.

Social Isolation and Loneliness Essay

Social Isolation and Loneliness Essay Objective Statement

This makes them even more vulnerable to the virus (Kotwal et al., 2021). In general, social isolation and loneliness tend to be a consequence of well-being, health, and longevity. This paper shall explore the impact of social isolation and loneliness in elders during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

To understand the essence of social isolation and loneliness, it is important to understand that human beings are social animals. High-quality connections tend to improve the well-being and health of the individual, something propagating through society. Due to the physical and mental health effects of loneliness, the individual’s quality of life tends to suffer significantly. Despite the increasing need for social interactions, elders tend to be isolated from society.

Human beings tend to experience a steady decline in their social connection, which is usually worse during the sunset years. It is important to note that loneliness is usually more severe in elderly females than the elderly males. This is because social connection is more prevalent and essential among females than males. However, it is important to note that some males need more social interaction than some females. Although the least inclined towards social connection are men, those least inclined are females. There is an overlap between the two demographics regarding the need for social interactions.

The comorbidities of the Coronavirus that lead to the high mortality rate and the worsening of outcomes among the elderly adults include kidney disease, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease. It is important to note that due to the impact of age on the immune system’s strength, the elderly are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 virus infections (Kotwal et al., 2021).

It is also important to note that their families and nursing homes often neglect the elders. Here, the virus is more likely to spread and severely impair the patients’ health based on the fact that there is crowding. Additionally, it is essential to note that social isolation and loneliness may go beyond any lack of social connection and to the lack of connection to people who have been close to them, like relatives and family members.

Social Isolation and Loneliness COVID-19 Pandemic

Even before the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, loneliness among the elderly has increased in developing and developed countries. Loneliness in the nursing homes made the Pandemic more severe to the elderly. This was to the patients who contacted the virus, who would get indoor and outdoor visitations while observing the six-foot social distancing guidelines.

Social Isolation and Loneliness Essay

The fact that the elderly patients were far from their family and long-term friends made them lonelier (Robb et al., 2020). This leads to most elderly patients dying in isolation, one of the most hollowing experiences. This loneliness went beyond the elderly patients and their families, who were constantly worried about their well-being. Some were horrified by the fact that they might end up dying alone or in the company of uncaring strangers.

There might be causality between loneliness and mortality in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Therefore, one would perceive loneliness as one of the comorbidities of the virus, just like obesity, smoking, and the lack of physical exercise. Loneliness tends to worsen the effect of these comorbidities on the individual’s overall well-being (Robb et al., 2020). It is important to note that the presence of social connection tends to give the individual; stress-buffering to effectively deal with the effects of the disease on their physical health.

Therefore social isolation and loneliness tends to increase the general mortality among human beings. Generally, social isolation and loneliness increases the risk of death by 29 percent, the risk of stroke by 32 percent, and the risk of coronary disease by 32 percent (Robb et al., 2020). Suppose the social isolation and loneliness coincides with the COVID-19 disease. This is expected to be worse in the developing world, where the social network is less sophisticated than the developed countries.

Additionally, health conditions like dementia, anxiety, depression, diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease tend to be more prevalent due to social isolation and loneliness. Therefore, as a result of isolation, an individual can die prematurely due to the aforementioned health conditions (Beam & Kim, 2020). The same case applies to COVID-19, where the individual is more likely to die in isolation than getting moral support from their close relatives and family.

Social Isolation and Loneliness Risks Factors

Furthermore, social isolation and loneliness tend to increase the metabolic and behavioral risks factors like high cholesterol, alcohol, poor diet, and the lack of physical activity. This is because the individual is less likely to take care of themselves and get into a perpetual desperation state. In the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the elderly were more likely to lead unhealthy lives as they dealt with the consequences of the Pandemic. Furthermore, socially isolated individuals often decline their cognitive abilities at an astronomical rate (Wu, 2020). The attempt to reduce social isolation increase the overall cost of treating the elderly with the COVID-19 virus.

Social Isolation and Loneliness Essay Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to note that the social isolation and loneliness of the elderly is a menace that worsened the COVID-19 Pandemic. This means that there is a need to improve nursing in healthcare settings and nursing homes. The nurse should provide the patients with the company or determine the most effective way to reduce loneliness.

They can advocate for safe interaction with family and friends, making the stress of the disease and Pandemic more bearable to the elderly. Due to their age, their tolerance for discomfort is quite low. This means that they are more likely to experience the physical and mental health consequences of the Pandemic. In general, there is a need to prioritize mental health in the healthcare setting.

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Social Isolation and Loneliness Essay References

Beam, C. R., & Kim, A. J. (2020). Psychological sequelae of social isolation and loneliness might be a larger problem in young adults than older adults. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy12(S1), S58.

Kotwal, A. A., Holt‐Lunstad, J., Newmark, R. L., Cenzer, I., Smith, A. K., Covinsky, K. E., … & Perissinotto, C. M. (2021). Social isolation and loneliness among San Francisco Bay Area older adults during the COVID‐19 shelter‐in‐place orders. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society69(1), 20-29.

Robb, C. E., De Jager, C. A., Ahmadi-Abhari, S., Giannakopoulou, P., Udeh-Momoh, C., McKeand, J., … & Middleton, L. (2020). Associations of social isolation with anxiety and depression during the early COVID-19 Pandemic: a survey of older adults in London, UK. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 991.

Wu, B. (2020). Social isolation and loneliness among older adults in the context of COVID-19: a global challenge. Global health research and policy5(1), 1-3.

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