Palliative Care Volunteers Bring Comfort to Isolated Seniors

Months after her husband died, Ruth was told to vacate the home they shared for 40 years. She was 96 years old, frail, grieving, and all alone.

Seniors At Home’s Palliative Care team had cared for Ruth’s husband Eddie before he passed away, and stepped in to support Ruth with this difficult transition. Without family or friends nearby, Ruth was becoming isolated – what she needed most was someone she could lean on.

Audrey became Ruth’s Palliative Care Volunteer. Audrey visited Ruth regularly, providing companionship and support when Ruth needed it the most. Watch Audrey and Ruth’s story:

The Crisis of Isolated Seniors

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one third of adults over age 65 live alone. Like Ruth, many seniors experience their social worlds shrinking due to retirement, the death of friends and family, or lack of mobility—leaving them with greatly increased risk of loneliness, isolation, and depression. In addition to the mental effects of loneliness, feeling isolated can also take a damaging toll on one’s physical health. Recent research has shown that isolated seniors do not live as long and are more likely to develop dementia and long-term illnesses compared their more social counterparts.

To learn more about how Seniors At Home supports isolated seniors or can help someone you know, call us at 415-449-3700.