Most of us know that socializing with others improves health and wellbeing. It keeps us connected to other people’s experiences, beliefs, challenges, humor, viewpoints, and various other human occurrences. Now, however, scientific studies are showing that being social has health benefits, especially for seniors, and can actually improve mental health.
A study carried out by Rush University Medical Center revealed that someone who noted a high degree of senior socialization was nearly twice as likely to remain free of a disability involving activities of daily living than someone with a low level of social activity, and about 1.5 times as likely to prevent impairment involving instrumental activities of daily living or mobility. Very social seniors had a 70% decrease in their rate of cognitive decline compared to unsocial peers.
Even so, staying social is not instinctual to all of us, and for many, it ends up being harder with age because one’s ability to get around can be greatly reduced. Here are just a few ways a home care agency such as Effraim Home Care can help older individuals stay social and improve their quality of life:
- Encourage attendance at and serve as a personal escort to fun outings such as club meetings, community activities such as fairs, holiday activities and parades, plays, concerts, and sports events, religious services and activities.
- Play interactive games together such as board games, cards and Nintendo Wii.
- Plan and arrange for visits with friends and loved ones.
- Offer transportation to an adult day facility or a low impact exercise class.
- Offer companionship at family celebrations or vacations for maximum safety and comfort.
- Introduce seniors to social networks like Facebook and Skype to enable them to connect with family and friends even when they are homebound.
In the Social Activity and Wellbeing of Older Australians Study, testing over 6,000 seniors over about 5-1/2 years, older adults with ongoing, regular social activity experienced a slower decrease in intellectual and memory performance. Enhanced mental capacity was noted most in those people who were the most socially active.
Having a qualified home care agency provide in-home care to encourage and help with senior socialization might just be one of the best ways to help an older person continue to thrive and feel alive. Effraim Home Care’s caregivers are all dedicated to supporting the independence, dignity, and social connection of every senior we serve. To learn more about our trusted home care in Allentown, PA and the surrounding areas, contact us at (215) 826-7422.