HEALTHIER AGING: Help your older patient blossom socially
Lois Gerber RN, CS, BSN, MPH

February 2008 
Volume 38  Number 2
Pages 24 - 25
  PDF Version Available!


Gerber, Lois RN, CS, BSN, MPH

Lois Gerber is a guardian ad litem for foster children in the state of Florida and a volunteer nurse at the Chiles Academy, a school for pregnant and parenting teens in Port Orange, Fla.

HELEN MITCHELL, A WIDOW, wakes up feeling lonely every morning. She's moved to a new town to be closer to her grown children, but now she hates the place. Tears fill her eyes when she talks about her late husband. “I miss him. I've never been a social butterfly, but I need someone. When I first moved here, the kids came over several times a week. Now they visit a couple of times a month. Tom and Pam are pleasant and do things for me, but they have their own lives. I'm the odd one out.”

Helen is one of many older adults with a socialization problem. Social isolation , a lack of meaningful contact with others and a feeling of disconnection to the world, is a dilemma for nurses working with alert but frail ...

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