When seniors become isolated, it can have a negative impact on their mental, emotional, and physical health. Every senior needs a healthy network of friends and family to laugh with in the good times and provide support during challenging times. Here are six reasons seniors need socialization.
1. Promotes Positive Self-Esteem
When seniors interact with like-minded people, it boosts their self-esteem and makes them feel appreciated, needed, and useful. Many seniors feel as though they lack purpose, and having an active social circle can provide them with the fulfillment they crave. Seniors who feel idle or lonely may want to become more involved in the community. Your loved one could volunteer for a local charity, join a book club, or become a member of the local bird watcher’s association. Engaging in local activities provides the opportunity to create new friendships and meet new, interesting people.
Regular socialization is one of the many ways older adults can maintain a positive outlook and lead healthier and happier lives. Get in touch with Home Care Assistance to find out how a Cedar Falls, IA, caregiver can help your aging loved one live a longer, healthier, and happier life. Our caregivers are available 24/7, all of our senior care services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
2. Prevents Health Issues
Being lonely has a tangible effect on the body. When seniors are isolated for too long, it can raise blood pressure, disrupt sleep patterns, and boost production of stress hormones. Over time, this becomes a self-fulfilling cycle. Loneliness changes the chemistry of the body and brain, leaving seniors feeling tired, stressed, and depressed. These negative feelings make them less likely to seek out companionship. If you believe your loved one is trapped in a cycle of solitude, help him or her make the behavioral changes necessary to be happy.
3. Boosts the Immune System
Studies show socializing gives the immune system a boost, which may sound counterintuitive because interacting with others exposes seniors to a greater variety of germs. However, the physical effects of loneliness compromise the immune system, which can leave seniors more susceptible to viruses and other health conditions.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Cedar Falls seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
4. Enhances Emotional Health
Because loneliness often goes hand in hand with poor sleep and increased production of stress hormones, it can lead to feelings of depression. Regular socialization, on the other hand, can reverse these effects. When people feel fulfilled by their personal lives, the brain releases “feel-good” hormones that counterbalance stress hormones like cortisol, which gives seniors a more positive outlook on life and mitigates feelings of depression and anxiety.
5. Keeps the Brain Sharp
While there are many solitary ways of keeping the mind sharp, like reading books or playing Sudoku, these activities don’t exercise the mind in the way conversation does. When people converse, it requires spontaneity and creativity. The brain must formulate a response to questions and comments, which exercises an important part of the brain, and when seniors don’t socialize enough, this part of the brain starts to atrophy. To boost their cognitive abilities, seniors should make sure to interact with friends and family on a regular basis.
6. Prevents Poor Habits
When seniors isolate themselves, it’s often the first step on a path toward poor habits. They might start neglecting their hygiene, their housework, or their dietary needs. When they’re constantly surrounded by people, it makes them more accountable. They’re less likely to form negative behavioral patterns when they have supportive friends and family.
It’s important for the elderly to interact with others if they hope to live long, happy, and healthy lives. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional non-medical home care. Cedar Falls, IA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To hire a compassionate, professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at 319-260-2222 today.