The effects of isolation on the physical and mental health of older adults
With the world in the grip of the covid-19 pandemic, unprecedented restrictions have been placed on social freedoms. The UK government has asked those aged 70 years and older to follow strict social distancing measures to reduce the transmission of, and susceptibility to, covid-19. These restrictions involve: reducing social mixing in the community, not having friends and family visiting the house, and minimising the use of public transport. Moreover, individuals with certain high-risk conditions are advised to not leave the home at all.  While undoubtedly vital to reduce the impact of covid-19 on this vulnerable group, which is more susceptible to severe disease, these interventions carry risk, particularly on physical activity profiles and on mental health. How can we mitigate this? Physical activity Social isolation is associated with increased morbidity from chronic disease and with higher all-cause mortality. Mental health Mitigation strategies Competing interests: None declared
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• Resource centre for caregivers of the elderly
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• Effects of social isolation on elderly’s development: Caregivers' edition