Humans are naturally social, and touch is one of the main ways people can connect. However, many seniors live alone, and they can go days or even weeks without a friendly touch. This can lead to a wide variety of health problems. Some experts are even starting to recommend seniors get regular massages because touch can provide so many important health benefits.
1.Lowers Stress Levels
A lot of the health benefits of touch are linked to its ability to lower stress. When a person is touched in a positive manner, hormones associated with stress decrease while hormones associated with relaxation increase. This makes touch a great way of instantly calming down an anxious or distressed senior. Regular touch can ease chronic stress, resulting in several mental, physical, and emotional advantages. Decreased stress levels resulting from touch have been linked to everything from lower blood glucose levels to better immune function.
A home caregiver can help your loved one develop a variety of strategies to handle stress. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
2. Boosts Cardiovascular Functioning
Thanks to touch’s stress-lowering capabilities, it has a hugely positive impact on cardiovascular function. Research conducted at the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute found that touch can lower blood pressure, slow heart rate, and increase overall pulmonary function. Over time, this may slightly lower a senior’s risk of developing heart problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.
If your loved one is living with health conditions that make it challenging to age in place, consider hiring a home caregiver. Rocklin in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
3. Fights Social Isolation & Depression
Seniors have a significantly higher risk of depression than younger people, and many seniors cite loneliness as a major cause of their depression. Touch provides a powerful way of connecting with others. Even when seniors aren’t close friends with the people touching them, being touched can remind them of times with loved ones and make them feel less alone. Therefore, one of the main powers of touch is its ability to lift a senior’s mood and help the golden years be more enjoyable.
4. Increases Pain Tolerance
Age-relate health conditions such as arthritis cause many seniors to experience chronic pain. Often, the primary recommendation for those living with pain is medication, which can result in unpleasant side effects. Touch can be a surprisingly effective way of reducing pain. A 2014 analysis by the journal Pain concluded touch can significantly lower both the perception of pain and sensitivity to pain. This seems to happen because the human body has difficulty processing multiple sensations at once, so having someone gently touch a painful area may distract the brain from painful sensations.
5. Enhances Levels of Alertness & Focus
Being touched does more than just help seniors stay healthy. It can also boost their quality of life. 2017 research published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found subjects were distracted during touch, but they could maintain a state of mind for longer following touch. This may make it easier for seniors to focus on conversations, hobbies, and other activities they enjoy.
The cognitive benefits of touch can be especially significant for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from receiving professional Alzheimer’s care. Rocklin seniors need regular mental stimulation when managing memory-related conditions, and a reliable in-home caregiver who has extensive training in Alzheimer’s care can be a great asset. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (916) 226-3737 today.