Social Distancing: The Hidden Health Risk

Dear Turapür Today Reader,

Millions of Americans are practicing strict social distancing as a proactive measure to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

And for those with underlying health conditions, sometimes staying completely isolated is the safest measure they can take.

That means staying out of the grocery store, avoiding family and neighbors, and skipping your outside time to avoid contact with strangers.

And while this might be your new “normal”, becoming TOO isolated from the outside world could also take a serious toll on your health.

You see, according to a new survey of seniors on Medicare, social distancing is taking a severe toll on the mental health of many older Americans.

Here’s what they found…

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The survey concluded that:

  • Nearly 25% of seniors feel their mental health, physical health, or both have declined under COVID restrictions.
  • A shocking 85% of seniors are battling anxiety.
  • 78% have felt depressed, and…
  • 76% are more irritable since the start of the pandemic

But here’s where things are getting worse for older Americans…

While things in most states are slowly starting to open back up, 49 percent of seniors have increased their isolation than earlier in the year.

And a staggering four in five seniors now say this impacts how often they get to see their friends and family… creating a sense of loneliness.

In fact, a sobering 92 percent report their loneliness has increased since the start of COVID-19.

And with the holiday season just around the corner, it only makes things worse!

Fortunately, there are ways to practice responsible social distancing (and even isolation) WITHOUT feeling lonely and impacting your health.

First and foremost, try to get as much outdoor physical activity that you can.

I know that the temperatures are getting colder, but simply walking just 10 minutes per day around your neighborhood is a great weapon against feeling isolated or “cooped in.” (Wear a mask if you live on a busy street.)

Or consider meeting up with a friend or neighbor in your yard or a local park where you can catch up with them face-to-face at a safe distance.

And don’t forget to embrace the power of technology when connecting with family… especially during the holiday season. Scheduling weekly (or even twice-weekly) chats via online platforms like Zoom or Google Meet are a great way to interact face-to-face with friends AND loved ones.

Do you have feedback you want to share? Drop me a line: feedback@turapur.com.

Regards,

Jack Taylor
Department of Research, Turapür Products

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