Social Seniors - The Importance of Friendship

Interim HealthCare Blogs
Posted: 1/24/2015 12:00 AM by Interim HealthCare
Studies have shown that there is an important link between social interaction and the health of senior individuals. Although socialization is important for everybody – regardless of their age -seniors are more susceptible to the dangers caused by isolation. Seniors have spent a majority of their lives in the company of others, from raising families to working. Once retirement sets in, and children have left the house, opportunities for socializing decrease. However, with the help of a home care staff member, your senior loved ones can thrive both physically and mentally just from an additional friend or companion, and here's why.
 
Improved Mental Health
 
Memory issues and depression are two health conditions that seniors often experience. Studies have shown that with consistent interaction with other individuals can drastically reduce both problems with memory and depression. This means that just talking to someone once a day for at least 30 minutes can improve memory and ward off depression. Home care staff members can provide this service by visiting with your senior family members, playing cards, or reading out loud to them.
 
Improved Nutrition
 
When living alone, many people tend to become malnourished, and this is especially true for seniors. They either don't find the need to cook for themselves, or they just hate eating alone. Having a home care staff member over a couple of times per week to dine with can really improve the appetite of seniors. In addition, they can help them plan a get together with other seniors in the community, which in turn will inspire them to cook, eat, and socialize.
 
Improved Physical Health
 
Having an active social life is one way to truly ensure that you are physically healthy. Whether your parents and/or grandparents get together with their friends for a morning walk, or go out for lunch, they are working to increase the abilities of their immune system, decrease blood pressure and reduce physical pain that is caused by depression and a lack of movement. A home care staff member can help aide seniors with these activities, and ultimately improve their physical health.
 
Strength in Numbers
 
According to a study published in AARP, the more people you have in your social circle, the better off you'll be. It is a key component of a healthy individual to be surrounded by the people you love and who love and care for you in return. There are many ways that seniors can meet new people and develop a more active social life to improve their overall health. Talk to your home care staff member about getting the assistance your senior loved ones need to participate in a volunteer setting, visit a senior center, attend church, and join a club or group, such as a card club.
 
All of these activities will help improve the social involvement your senior family members have in their community. Feeling loved and wanted, or just having someone to talk to each day, is a key element in living a healthy life.

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