The Value Of A Daily Call For Seniors
Bay Alarm Medical
February 28, 2023
The Value Of A Daily Call For Seniors
Seniors who live alone often feel lonely and isolated from the outside world. Studies have shown that lack of close connections can affect a person’s physical and mental health. Fortunately, there are many ways to help your loved one avoid isolation. A daily phone call or video chat is one of the easiest.
Loneliness affects seniors’ physical and mental health
Social isolation and loneliness are linked to serious health conditions in people of all ages, but seniors are particularly affected. They’re more likely to live alone. Often, they have limited mobility and/or transportation options that make it hard for them to attend religious services, shop, or even meet friends for coffee.
Recent studies of senior loneliness highlight the health risks:
- Social isolation significantly increases the risk of premature death – as much (or more) as smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise.
- Higher rates of depression and suicide. Learn more about the warning signs of senior suicide.
- Increased risk of dementia – up to 50% higher than more socially-connected seniors.
Distance can make personal contact more difficult, but even short phone conversations can help improve your loved one’s physical and mental health.
In 2021, the American Medical Association reported on the findings of a study that tracked the effects of phone calls to homebound seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic. “With layperson delivered, empathy-oriented phone calls, loneliness, depression and anxiety were reduced within four weeks.”
How to stay in touch when you can’t be there in person – The Value of a Daily Call for Seniors
With busy family schedules and loved ones separated by distance, regular in-person contact may be difficult. Fortunately, technology makes it easy to stay connected to friends and family.
All forms of technology, including email, phone calls, instant messaging, and video chats, can help seniors stay socially connected and engaged. Recent research has shown that video chats offer the greatest benefit:
“People who used video chat applications such as Skype and FaceTime had almost half the estimated probability of depressive symptoms, after adjusting for other factors, such as pre-existing depression and level of education.”
Consider organizing a call and/or video chat tree to help your loved one feel closer to friends and family. The benefits aren’t just social; they also affect health and well-being.
- Calls and chats help loved ones stay emotionally connected to family members.
- Regular contact helps you spot problems like hearing loss, changes in physical condition, or symptoms of cognitive decline so your relative can get treatment.
- Intergenerational relationships benefit everyone – young and old – as each age group learns to love and respect, learn from, and depend on each other.
A medical alert system adds an additional layer of safety and protection
We’ve all seen news stories about a mail carrier who saved a customer’s life by calling for help when the mail piled up. Unfortunately, sometimes they’re too late. When a senior suffers a cardiac event or serious fall, their physical condition can deteriorate rapidly. Many can’t wait hours (or days!) for someone to notice that they’re not out and about.
For seniors who live alone, a daily phone call helps fill both their social and safety needs. If they’re unable to answer the phone or the chat notification, they know that someone will notice before the mail carrier does.
However, once an emergency happens, the clock is ticking!
A home medical alert system with fall detection can help someone who lives alone – or just happens to be home alone – get life-saving help quickly. When the system detects a fall, it calls our 24/7 monitoring center. If the operator isn’t able to establish contact with the user, they dispatch first responders within minutes.
BAM’s medical alert systems are there for your loved ones when you can’t be. Contact us at 1-877-522-9633 or chat with us online to learn more about our in-home medical alert systems, on-the-go systems, and medical alert smartwatch.
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