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How is isolation impacting seniors in long-term care facilities?

When nursing homes and other long-term care facilities lock down and stop allowing visitors, it can take a huge negative toll on residents.

If you have a loved one in a long-term care facility that is under lockdown, you may notice the immediate effects, such as loneliness. However, there are additional things that should concern you and make you wonder if the isolation of a lockdown is worse than the reason for the lockdown.

Loss of mental functions

The New York Times explains one side effect of isolation in seniors is a loss of mental capacity. If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s the isolation can make it worse and speed up the deterioration.

Not being able to see you regularly could lead to your loved one no longer recognizing you. It could make the symptoms of a mental condition worse, leading to the loss of functions, such as speech.

Loss of care

When lockdowns occur, they often highlight the staffing issues within a long-term care facility. Your loved one may not get the personal attention he or she needs. You may notice small things, such as overgrown toenails, or large issues, such as bed sores. Since you cannot visit, these things can get very bad before anyone notices them.

Loss of physical function

Isolation can lead to depression and other mental downslides that will inevitably affect your loved one’s physical functioning. He or she may become wheelchair-bound. Previous physical progress may reverse.

In general, isolation that occurs from lockdowns is incredibly detrimental to seniors. It can negatively impact them in many ways, and it also leaves you feeling helpless because you cannot change the rules, but you can bring attention to any neglect that could be aggravating the situation.

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