Campus News

Clinical associate professor discusses effects of isolation on seniors in long-term care facilities

Kerstin Gerst Emerson with the Institute of Gerontology in the College of Public Health was recently quoted in a GPB article about potentially easing rules for visitors in long-term care facilities during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

For older adults, lonesomeness and isolation can influence both their physical health and mental health, Emerson said.

These aspects can weaken a person’s immune system and elevate blood pressure, Emerson said.

“If your mind is not happy, often your body is not happy,” she said.

Emerson said the COVID pandemic has worsened isolation problems by cutting off many social interactions.

The article continued to discuss pushes for expanding visitation and the effects of isolation on older adults in these facilities.