Dying of Loneliness in Aged Care

Dying of Loneliness in Aged Care

Aged Care Residents carry an emotional toll

A recent interview on The ABC has highlighted that people living with dementia in aged care are dying of loneliness. In the discussion on ABC’s The Drum featured infectious disease expert Dr. Kudzai Kanhutu and Everald Compton, Chairman of Longevity Alliance Australia. Both of these experienced guests spoke frankly about the emotional toll older adults in care are baring throughout the pandemic.

People are Dying of Loneliness

Isolation and loneliness in aged care are not new phenomena. And with over 50% of aged care residents experiencing loneliness at some time during their stay, it’s clearly an issue that needs to be looked at seriously. But as Dr. Kanhutu raises in this interview, some care homes around the world are experiencing a 65% increase in mortality rate for residents living with dementia throughout the pandemic. However these deaths aren’t caused by COVID, but rather people are dying of loneliness.
The effects of loneliness are well documented, and when combined with lockdowns can be catastrophic.

An enormously distressing experience

Everald Compton, who regularly visits people in residential care explains the issue further.

"When you’re in a home like that, and nobody can come and see you, it’s an enormously distressing experience."

He goes further to describe one incident with a friend of his who became “overwhelmed” with emotion after seeing him for the first time that it took him several minutes to calm down. This shows the emotional weight that these vulnerable people are put under every day.

An impossible choice


The balance of physical health and mental health puts aged care providers in an impossible situation. One that Everald  believes deserves closer examination.

“So I think we’ve gotta say to ourselves, what is the worst for a person? To die of covid, quickly...or for them to actually die in some sort of mental tension because they’ve been neglected? And the worst thing that can happen to a person in old age is to lock them away. Death is preferable to them being locked away."

A COVID safe solution

At SilVR Adventures reducing loneliness in aged care is at the core of what we do. And we’re proud to have taken thousands of older adults on shared experiences around the world. It’s these shared experiences that 85% of our customers have said help to significantly drive social engagements.

Contact us today to arrange a demo, and learn more about virtual reality can help combat loneliness for your elders.

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