Promoting Mental Health in Socially Isolated Older Adults Through Telehealth

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Kate Stark
Kayla Wiley
Jake Waters
Caroline Morrison


By Kate Stark, Nursing; Katla Wiley, Nursing; Jake Waters, Nursing

Advisor: Caroline Morrison

Presentation ID: 172

Abstract: Likelihood of mortality in older adults is increased by around thirty percent in those expressing feelings of isolation and depression. Up to 50% of older adults are at risk for social isolation due to a multitude of reasons. Feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety have been identified as risk factors for conditions such as heart disease and strokes, as well as reduced resistance to infection and higher cognitive/physical impairment. Telehealth interventions that incorporate creativity, reflection, exercise, discussion, and group interaction can be used to provide a sense of routine, connection, and belonging to improve health outcomes in socially isolated older adults over time. We identified two knowledge gaps in the nursing staff population: the extent to which social isolation affects older adults and the positive effects of telehealth interventions on socially isolated older adults. The aim of this project was to educate nursing staff on social isolation in older adults and the positive effects of implementing telehealth interventions. A group of selected progressive care nurses at Mercy Anderson Hospital received an educational pamphlet and presentation on social isolation and telehealth interventions. We administered a pre and post-test to examine the difference in scores after viewing the educational pamphlet and listening to our presentation. Out of the five questions from our pre and post-test, there was an increase in correct answers in all questions except one. There was an evident increase in knowledge about social isolation and the positive impacts telehealth can provide.

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Category: Health & Body