With decades of senior living experience, the advisors at Brookdale can help you determine if your senior patient could benefit from a new community to call home. Here are four signs that your patient may be experiencing isolation, according to the AARP Foundation.
1. Loss of Interest in Activities
One of the first signs of isolation is a loss of interest in hobbies. At Brookdale, our approach to solve for this is rooted in one-to-one connections within the community. And while most senior living homes utilize a “legacy model” with streamlined programming based on past interests and group classes, at Brookdale, we prioritize friendship first and programs second.
Our care associates take the time to get to know residents one-on-one so that engagement opportunities are built around what is most interesting to each individual in the present: what they like now, who they are now, and what they wish to accomplish next. This approach helps us better connect residents with other individual residents who share like interests. Our four avenues of engagement include:
- Resident-Led Small Groups/Clubs: empowers residents to lead programming
- External Partners: provides opportunities inside and outside of the community
- Individual Pursuits/Self-Directed Endeavors: includes hobbies or interests typically done alone
- Associate-Led Large Groups: includes social gatherings listed on a monthly calendar
2. Lack of Personal Hygiene
Individuals experiencing depression that frequently accompanies isolation and loneliness may be less motivated to maintain personal hygiene. All prospective Brookdale residents will receive an initial personalized service assessment, which takes into consideration mobility, medications, dietary restrictions, diagnoses and personal care preferences. Once a patient makes a move into a Brookdale community, they will experience the benefits of staff who are available 24/7 to be alerted to an emergency, and their service plans will be maintained and managed through our personal service system, which helps staff to monitor the assistance residents need with activities of daily living as their care needs evolve.
3. Poor Eating and Nutrition Habits
Skipping meals or medications can be a sign of isolation and depression among seniors. Brookdale associates help meet residents’ needs through regular assessments and numerous programs, including our medication management program and our Nutrition at Risk program (NAR).
Our medication administration program includes staff training, mobile-enabled software to track residents’ medications, and relationships with preferred pharmacies providing convenience and additional pharmacological oversight. Through NAR, we can monitor weight and BMI monthly to track changes and trends that may indicate a decline. If a decline is detected, we work with the resident’s healthcare provider and care team to develop a nutrition plan to help their patient get back on track. Information is tracked in electronic medical records (PointClickCare®).
These programs work in tandem with many other Brookdale signature programs, such as fitness and dining. Our dining program is backed by a center of excellence and is committed to a regimen that encourages the food intake needed to help maintain a healthy weight, a strong immune system and overall health. Our culinary team is able to modify for many preferences and for some therapeutic diets.
4. Significant Clutter and Disrepair
Home is meant to be a safe and comforting space. But if your senior patient lives alone and has a cluttered apartment or a home in disrepair, not only can this be a sign of loneliness, it can also become a safety hazard. Brookdale offers round-the-clock staff to be alerted to emergencies. Most of our communities offer emergency alert systems in apartments, and some of our memory care communities offer wayfinding designed for memory care spaces and AI technology to help with falls management.
Isolated seniors have a 59% risk of overall functional decline and a 30% increased risk of coronary artery disease or stroke incidents. Individuals who suffer from loneliness also bear a 50% greater risk of developing clinical dementia. Socialization is therefore one of the most important factors to consider when discussing senior living options with your patient and their family.
Help your patient find a Brookdale community today.
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