The coronavirus pandemic has caused people in our communities to be more isolated than ever and a recent study by University College London has shown elderly people in isolation are at a heightened risk of dementia. The research concluded people over 55 who live alone are 30% more likely to develop dementia than those who live with others.
Researchers reviewed evidence from 12 studies in seven countries in Europe and Asia, which pulled together data from 21,666 people aged over 55.
“Our findings suggest that low social contact could have serious implications for dementia rates, especially as dementia rates are already rising due to ageing populations.” – Lead author Dr Roopal Desai, UCL
Now more than ever we need to be caring for older Australians and monitoring their wellbeing.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, self-isolating has been vital to reduce the spread of the virus. The pandemic has raised awareness of how difficult it can be, practically and emotionally, to live alone when it has not been our choice to do so.
Further outbreaks of COVID-19 in Victoria and NSW, has to lead to the reintroduction of lockdown measures in Australia, reducing our ability to provide social contact with our elderly parents and grandparents.
In an exclusive with 9News, InteliCare‘s CEO and Managing Director, Jason Waller, highlighted the need to care for older Australians during social isolation.
“I think there’s a duty of care to ensure they’re being looked after and someone is monitoring them” – Jason Waller