Being social can mean different things to different people: going out to dinner on a routine basis, joining a club, signing up for classes, working out at the gym, or getting together with friends for coffee once a week. For older adults who are homebound, however, socialization could be limited to occasional phone calls and visits. However you define staying social, the benefits of socialization for seniors are numerous. For those who struggle with a social lifestyle, in home care can help.
Socialization Lowers the Risk of Disability
A Rush University Medical Center report showed that greater levels of socialization are linked to a reduced risk of becoming disabled. In fact, those who reported a high level of social activity were, on average, twice as likely to remain free of a disability involving activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, etc.) than those who were less social. And not only that, they were almost twice as likely to remain free of disability involving instrumental activities of daily living (meal preparation, housework, etc.) and mobility.
Socialization Enhances Quality of Life
A recent study of over 3,000 women with breast cancer revealed a connection between socialization and physical symptoms. The women answered questions about their activities and social interactions, along with their physical and emotional state during treatment. The results showed that those who had good social support experienced fewer physical symptoms during treatment and had an elevated emotional state than those who reported little or no social interactions.
Socialization Helps Us Live Longer
Socialization can contribute to the increase in both quality and length of life.
- A study conducted in Australia followed seniors over a period of a decade. In those 70 years and older, the chance of dying decreased by as much as 20% among those who had a strong network of friends. It’s important to note that having social interactions with friends provided a greater effect than interactions with family members.
- University College London tracked 6,500 British seniors from 2004 to 2012.Those who lacked socialization were 26% more likely to die during that period than seniors with active social lives.
The benefits of socialization for seniors far outweigh the obstacles that may be inhibiting older adults, and the Nashville home care team at Caregivers By WholeCare can help! We provide in-home assistance for seniors that includes friendly companionship, transportation and accompaniment to outings and visits with friends, encouragement to participate in exercise programs, hobbies, and interests, and so much more. Give us a call at (615) 997-1288 if you’d like to explore ways to enhance socialization for your senior loved ones!