12 Ways to Ease Isolation While You’re Practicing Social Distancing

To avoid the coronavirus, public health experts are advising people of all ages to stay home and practice social distancing as much as possible. This is particularly true for older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.

Those actions will go a long way to helping limit the spread of the virus and its impact on our health as well as on our health care systems, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But social distancing and staying home may put some at greater risk for the unintended consequence of social isolation, a health concern that can be avoided or reduced with proper, proactive steps.

According to the National Institute on Aging, social isolation and loneliness are linked to higher risks for a variety of health problems. These include high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.

“Social isolation is very harmful to your health and contributes to poor health outcomes, especially for older adults,” says Laurie Theeke, PhD, a nursing professor at West Virginia University and a nurse practitioner at WVU Medicine, in Morgantown, West Virginia.

These steps can help you stay connected with others and prevent loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading