Most of us realize intuitively that socializing with others helps us in a plethora of ways: it improves our wellbeing by keeping us connected to other people’s experiences, beliefs, humor, struggles, points of view, and more. Now, however, scientific research is proving that socialization, and in particular senior socialization, provides a host of benefits we hadn’t realized before.
The Benefits of Keeping Seniors Social
A recent study performed by Rush University Medical Center found that those reporting a higher level of senior socialization were almost twice as likely to be free of a disability while performing activities of daily living than seniors with a lower level of social activity. Social seniors were also found to be 1.5 times as likely to avoid disability involving activities of daily living or mobility. Seniors in the study who were marked as “very social” had a 70% reduction in their rate of cognitive decline as compared to their less social peers.
How Can Caregivers Support Senior Socialization?
Socialization is not instinctive for everyone, and for many, it’s even harder with age because of a reduced ability to remain active and mobile. There is hope, however! A professional home care agency, such as Caregivers by WholeCare, can help seniors stay social and protect their wellbeing in the following ways:
- Encourage attendance at and provide transportation to social outings such as visiting with family and friends, participating in exercise classes, holiday activities and parades, plays, concerts, and sports events, religious services and much more.
- Play interactive games together such as board games, cards and Nintendo Wii.
- Offer friendly companionship to allow for meaningful conversations about current events, historical events of interest, reminiscing, etc.
- Introduce seniors to social programs such as Facebook and Skype to allow them to connect with family and friends, even if they are unable to leave the home.
Science Supports Seniors Socialization
The Social Activity and Wellbeing of Older Australians Study tested over 6,000 older adults over a period of about 5 ½ years. Results showed that older adults who have ongoing, regular social activity experienced a slower decline in intellectual and memory abilities. The higher the level of social activity the senior engaged in the higher the level of mental capacity they retained.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from enhanced senior socialization, call on the Nashville home care professionals at Caregivers by WholeCare. Our friendly, experienced, and fully trained caregivers are on hand to help stave off the isolation and loneliness that can lead to depression and other serious health risks, and improve overall quality of life. Call us at (615) 997-1288 to learn more!