Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Global Health NOW: Is Isolation Killing the Elderly?


GHN News


 Jeanne Fregeau, 93, in her room at a Marlborough, Mass. nursing home. August 26, 2020. 
Image: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe/Getty


Is Isolation Killing the Elderly?

“Sometimes the doors to their rooms are open, and you just see someone sitting in a chair with tears running down their face,” said geriatrician Louise Aronson of University of California, San Francisco. 

For elderly people, COVID-19 restrictions designed to protect them may also be leading to deadly isolation. The data may be scarce, but the reality is tangible; researchers say it can include:

  • accelerated aging and dementia
  • more falls
  • “sudden frailty”
  • weight loss
  • depression

Deprived of his children’s weekly visits to his long-term care facility in Minnesota, 98-year-old Chester Peske passed away in June. The cause of death was listed as “social isolation / failure to thrive related to COVID-19 restrictions.”
The Quote: “In many respects, the side effects are worse than the potential harm of a slightly higher risk of infection,” said David Grabowski, a Harvard Medical School health policy professor.
NBC News

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