6 Reasons for Aging Adults to Socialize Regularly

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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.

Promotes 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 the fulfillment they crave. 

Seniors who feel idle or lonely may want to become more involved in their communities. Your loved one could volunteer for a local charity, join a book club, or become a member of the local bird-watchers association. Engaging in local activities provides the opportunity to create new friendships and meet new, interesting people. 

For families living in Rocklin, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

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-perpetuating 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.

Social activity is only one of many factors that contribute to robust mental and physical health in seniors. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Social isolation can result in mental, emotional, and physical challenges for aging adults, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Rocklin, senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call us at (916) 226-3737 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans.

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