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Why Do Seniors Need to Maintain Close Friendships?

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on August 30, 2016

Your elderly loved one may not have as many opportunities to socialize now compared to his or her younger years. However, it is important to maintain close friendships because they can help keep him or her healthy in a variety of ways. Roseville, CA, home care experts discuss a few of the important benefits of having friends in the senior years.

Reduce the Risk of Heart Conditions

Loneliness can have a negative impact on your loved one’s heart, which is why he or she should remain social and hold on to close friendships. Intense loneliness causes the arteries to harden, preventing the flow of blood. If your loved one’s heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood, he or she is at a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. As a result, he or she could experience a heart attack, stroke, or another life-threatening event. 

Prevent Osteoporosis 

If your loved one has no one to communicate with, the isolation could lead to stress and negatively impact his or her emotional wellbeing. The stress from isolation often triggers depression, which could lead to osteoporosis. Depression causes low bone mass because the amount of calcium and other minerals in the body decrease. If your loved one begins taking antidepressants, it can exacerbate the osteoporosis. However, staying social and maintaining close friendships can stave off feelings of isolation and depression.

Boost Cognitive Health

Feelings of isolation can also cause the oxygen and blood in your loved one’s brain to stop flowing properly, which can decrease his or her brain function. Your loved one may begin to forget people and places, and forming simple sentences may become more difficult. Encourage your loved one to remain social and schedule outings, phone calls, and video chats with his or her close friends. This type of socialization can prevent your loved one from developing Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other memory-related conditions. 

Promote Longevity 

Seniors who live without friendships and give in to isolation run a greater risk of premature death. However, being social can enhance your loved one’s quality of life and lead to longevity. Friends can motivate your loved one to try new things, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly. Your loved one can meet each day with a desire to take on the next challenge instead of sitting in the house and letting the days pass him or her by.

Sometimes seniors can form friendships when they least expect it. At Home Care Assistance, we match a caregiver with your loved one based on more than just the extensive experience in senior care. Having similar interests and personality traits can help foster a bond between your loved one and the caregiver, leading to a trusted and valuable friendship. For more information on the live-in and respite care Roseville, Rocklin, and Lincoln families rely on, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 916.226.3737 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

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