The Impact of Long-Term Social Isolation on the Mental Health of Older Adults


It feels like the whole world has been in isolation for the past two years, and wave after wave of Covid-19 (and its many variants) has truly tested our collective mental health. With Covid cases finally on the decline, and FDA-approved vaccines readily available for everyone age 5 or older, it seems like we’ll soon be able to fully exhale and move on with our lives. However, the impact of the past couple years of isolation will have taken its toll…especially on adults over the age of 65.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports a stark connection between long-term isolation and the risk of developing dementia and other mental health issues. For adults over 65 who—on top of the social isolation caused by Covid—are also dealing with the loss of family and friends, living alone, chronic illness, and loss of hearing, the CDC notes a 50% increase in their risk for developing dementia and other serious health conditions.

In addition to the risk of developing dementia, loneliness and isolation can cause other troubling co-morbidities:

  • An increase in risk of premature death, rivaling the similar risk created by smoking, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle
  • 29% increase in the risk of heart disease
  • 32% increase in the risk of stroke
  • Increased risk of developing depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts

Furthermore, heart failure patients who have been dealing with loneliness and isolation are four times more likely to die, 68% more likely to be hospitalized, and 57% more likely to end up in the emergency room.

The statistics look bleak.

While most young- and middle-aged adults are ready to get back to their old social selves now that Covid is moving towards the endemic phase, many elderly folk don’t have much of their old lives to go back to. The vast majority of Covid-related deaths—more than 700,000—were amongst adults over the age of 65. Furthermore, elderly adults remain the most at-risk for being hospitalized due to Covid-19…even if they are fully vaccinated.

So, what are the options for an older adult struggling with loneliness and isolation, even after Covid restrictions have been lifted? Here are five organizations that may offer support:

For older adults—or adults of any age—who are struggling with depression for any reason, we urge you to contact Tahoe Ketamine to learn more about our holistic and alternative depression treatments. We offer IV hydration therapy for an all-natural immunity, energy, and wellness boost, and ketamine therapy to treat depression, anxiety, suicidality, and more. Contact us using the brief form below, and a member of our clinical team with reach out to answer your questions.


Contact Tahoe Ketamine

Contact us for more information about our IV Therapies at 530-208-9355 or by filling out the contact form below.

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