Life expectancy is increasing for human beings all over the world. India has thus acquired the label of “an ageing nation” with 8.6% of its population being more than 60 years old and this is projected to rise to 18.3% in 2050.
In India, ageing is associated with multiple diseases, particularly the rise of mental health conditions. And a decline in immunity, as well as age-related physiologic changes leads to an increased burden for the elderly.
The Elderly are highly prone to mental illnesses due to ageing of the brain, problems associated with physical health, socio-economic factors such as breakdown of the family support systems, and a decrease in economic independence, social isolation, and elderly abuse leading to a host of psychological illnesses.
Depression and loneliness are considered to be the major problems leading to impaired quality of life among elderly persons.
Causes of Social Isolation in Elderly Adults
No one likes to feel lonely or isolated, but for many seniors, it’s a feeling they know all too well. Social isolation, sometimes referred to as objective isolation, is the physical separation from family (living alone).
The loneliness and social isolation that seniors experience is usually caused by low-quality social relationships, or a lack of these relationships entirely. However, many other things could cause these issues, such as being age 80 or older, having chronic health problems, and changing family structures.
The decline in the traditional value system and the joint family system.
Loneliness increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%.
People who are lonely report 5% more severe symptoms in the common cold than those who are less lonely.
Between 10 and 43% of community-dwelling seniors are socially isolated.
Economic insecurity, social isolation, elder abuse lead to a host of psychological illnesses.
Lonely seniors have a 59% higher risk of physical and mental health decline.
Inability to remain physically and mentally active.
Societal barriers such as ageism and lack of opportunities for older adults to engage and contribute.
Social Isolation and Loneliness in the Elderly:
We know that isolation and loneliness can be caused by health issues, but they, in turn, come with an increased risk of many health-related problems such as cognitive decline, suicide, chronic diseases, falling, depression, etc.
“Research says that isolation and loneliness are also linked to high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and early death.”
Given these consequences, many in the healthcare industry have recommended that loneliness and isolation be diagnosed and treated with companion care.
Elro strives to prevent elderly isolation and depression and do all that we can to keep seniors safe from these feelings.
Strategies to Improve the Quality-of-Life of the Elderly in the Present era: The role of the digital companion
In recent years, a variety of digital companions have been developed to support people in old age and promote healthy ageing. These smart technologies and devices are purposively designed to meet the needs and wishes of older people.
The digital companion can assist older people in the completion of cognitive or physical tasks such as activities of daily living. And these patient-centric digital companion products complement existing treatments, empowering and connecting patients, clinicians and healthcare systems to improve quality of care and simplify patient data capture.
ELRO is an elderly companion- it is uniquely designed to take care of you at home. It gives older patients the option to consult with their healthcare provider remotely using live video, audio and instant messaging through a smart device. This reduces the need for in-person visits and consultations, making it easier for at-home caregivers to meet the needs of their loved ones. At-home healthcare providers can quickly gain valuable insight and knowledge from these remote consultations, improving their loved one’s quality of care.
It offers a variety of health and wellness-related features from mindfulness to medication reminders to make it easier for elders to remain as healthy, active, and independent as possible throughout the day.
ELRO Can help the elderly in various ways:
The Elderly are more informed, motivated and empowered to take control of their health.
Reduced anxiety as patients are guided every step of the way.
Personalised insights into their health data and behaviours, empowering patients to improve their lifestyle and care.
Elderly patients learn about themselves and are motivated to achieve a fast recovery& be more health-conscious.
Smart Engagement: Streamlining care pathways, communication with a care provider, and reducing clinical visits. And track medication adherence and provide reminders and notifications to prompt medication use.
Interactive Assessment: If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or other dementia, talk to their healthcare providers and other professionals about appropriate meaningful activities.
Cognitive Games: Engagement sessions moderated by medically trained professionals.
We’re delighted to be playing a role in facilitating positive change, helping empower older adult users to participate in healthy behaviours at home. For now, our team continues to test and expand ELRO’s wellness and other capabilities — and we're looking forward to sharing more updates in the months to come. Enjoy healthier, happier days at home with ELRO Thanks for reading!