Jul 17, 2017 by Anonymous
According to researchers, a senior's social health is as important as their physical health. In fact, the two are often linked: poor social health can impact physical health, and seniors with poor physical health often suffer socially. With this in mind, maintaining healthy social relationships should be an important focus of every senior.
Sadly, many seniors face relational challenges. As we age, loved ones move away or pass on, we retire and lose contact with work colleagues, and physical and cognitive decline can lead to increased social isolation. The result is often a significant decrease in meaningful socialization and a decline in healthy relationships.
One study found that seniors who were able to maintain their relationships had 75 percent fewer instances of cognitive decline and significantly less disability in general. This should not be surprising as philosophers and psychologists from Aristotle to the modern age have known that people are not meant to be alone and disengaged. The brain and the body are meant to be stimulated by socialization.
Consider these ways to help seniors establish and maintain relationships:
Volunteering. Many seniors have left the workforce, but that does not mean they cannot continue to contribute to their community in a positive manner. From schools and libraries to hospitals and local businesses and non-profits, seniors can stay engaged while being socially involved. Volunteering also helps provide a sense of purpose which helps fight depression, cognitive decline, and even dementia. An in-home senior care provider can help your senior loved one find a place that suits them and even provide the transportation required to get back and forth.
Classes. From exercise classes to going back to school or learning a craft, becoming a part of a learning group is a great way to meet like-minded people and keep engaged at the same time. Seniors who require companionship or physical, social, or emotional support in order to give a new class a try will enjoy the benefits of an in-home senior care provider.
Senior center. Many times seniors feel out of place in social situations, but at a senior center there is the distinct advantage of everyone being a senior. People of a similar age tend to view the world through a different lens than those from other generations. Seniors also tend to understand each other's challenges and victories better than those of younger generations. Simply put, seniors who have a hard time fitting in other places may find that a senior center offers the classes, exercise sessions, entertainment, and socialization that they need.
In short, maintaining healthy relationships is important for a seniors social, emotional, and mental health. Sometimes, seniors require help to establish and maintain these relationships. In these cases, Comfort Keepers in-home senior care can be a great support. For more information, contact a Comfort Keepers senior care coordinator today.