There are many causes of isolation that make older adults disconnect from their relationships. One of them could be an abusive relationship between spouses. Physical or emotional violence is extremely damaging as the trust between the spouses is broken. This bad experience is etched in their minds and it serves as a continuous reminder that other relationships could potentially hurt them as much. This makes it difficult for them to connect with others on a deeper level. Another cause of isolation is physical disabilities. The difficulty of moving from place to place discourages older adults from leaving the house. Additionally, the impairments could cause them to feel shame and isolate themselves from others.
Change in Emotional Intelligence
Some older adults may experience a change in emotional intelligence (EQ). This change in EQ could be due to the changes in their attitude and a greater motivation towards self-improvement. This could be due to the encouragement by a great support system at home which makes them want to have changes in their lives.
The change in EQ could lead to isolation as these individuals may no longer enjoy the same relationships now. To them, these relationships could have no more value as they could be built on negative influences like slander and gossip. These relationships will not last as these individuals grow and choose to cut out people who do not add value to their lives.
Older adults must surround themselves with more positive people and be open to embracing new relationships while letting go of older ones. Staying close to like-minded people can help fill the void they may feel.
Unable to Find Like-Minded People
Older adults who are highly intelligent may feel a disconnection with those who are not on par. They could feel irritated due to the silly questions asked or there may not be a common topic to talk about. Those with higher IQ may not know how to connect with others properly and will feel unease and awkward in social situations. As such, it is important to find an interest group with people who are of the same caliber. Through these interest groups, it could help these individuals identify their intellectual interests and there will have many common topics to discuss.
Some older adults used to enjoy game nights and weekly outings with family and friends but due to certain changes like moving to a house further away, it becomes difficult to connect with them. Especially in the current COVID-19 pandemic where people are encouraged to stay home, it is easy to feel isolated from the world. Leaving the house could lead to exposure to the virus and large group gatherings are discouraged.
Older adults can rely on social media as it is a great way to stay connected to friends and family without the risk of transmission.
There are inevitable behavior changes as people grow older. Many older adults start to become more forgetful and aggressive. Behavior changes could result from an underlying condition like dementia where aging individuals find it difficult to connect with others. Some family members may feel ashamed when they bring their aging parents with dementia out, as they tend to behave inappropriately in public. These behavior changes could mean that they need assistance like a caregiver to help manage their condition.