The challenges of social isolation and precautions one can take.
Today, there is huge evidence that social isolation as we all experience it in lock- down times is a risk factor for mental and physical disorders.
Social isolation can lead to e.g. anxiety, depression, anger, sleep disturbance and create the feeling of loneliness. All of these can boost each other and generate physical problems or aggravate chronic diseases like dementia or Parkinson`s disease for example. For prevention, a fixed structure of the day, regular exercise and a balanced diet can be helpful.
Digital media can only absorb some of these effects as nothing can replace a real touch or a face- to -face talk.
Hence, the elderly as the ones with chronic illnesses and without being digital native are supposed to be most vulnerable. If people are integrated in a lively, manifold social network they better take care of themselves and by
experiencing the care of others the impact of isolation on their health is cushioned.
How to maintain this most efficiently during lock- down?
Firstly, persons at risk, their relatives and friends have to sensitize each other to these facts and interrelations.
On the basis of a regular and open communication, the knowledge of each other`s sorrows and pain as well as medical complaints low-threshold service can be offered within the network before worsening takes place or maybe even professional healthcare has to be involved.
This is true for numerous problems of daily life that normally are trivial to solve like getting fresh supply of regular medication.