As people grow older many of their life-long friends start to pass away. Not only is it emotionally difficult when those cherished friendships end, it’s also hard for the average senior to make new friends. As a result, many simply stop trying and become socially isolated. If you’re currently looking after an aging in place loved one, knowing how to keep seniors socially active may not be one of your caregiving priorities. But countless studies have shown that it’s vitally important to do so to ensure that your loved one enjoys a better quality of life.
Why Do Seniors Stop Socializing?
Older adults oftentimes stop socializing with others because of:
- Death of a spouse or other close loved one
- Hearing or vision loss
- Substance abuse
- Deteriorating health
Over time, seniors who don’t interact with others may start feeling hopeless and depressed. If those negative emotions continue, they can cause other health problems that eventually place their freedom and independence at risk.
Socially Active Seniors Do Better
On the other hand, social wellness experts have discovered that when an elderly adult stays socially active it provides them with these benefits:
Helps Prevent Cognitive Decline
It’s been found that seniors who are socially active have a lower risk for experiencing cognitive decline that ultimately leads to diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
When a senior is part of a group, they feel more connected to the outside world. Those group activities and conversations not only boost self-esteem, they provide seniors with a support system as the aging process move forward.
Improves Physical Health
Seniors that have social relationships tend to keep themselves in better physical shape through
exercise and diet, which provides them with these benefits:
- Lowers blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk
- Better immunity
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Improved flexibility
- Promotes a better night’s sleep
- Reduces stress
May Increase Longevity
Scientists have also found that seniors who stay socially active tend to live well into their 90s as opposed to those who don’t. Researchers believe that the extra longevity stems from the physical and mental stimulation that seniors with more active social lives enjoy.
Fights Loneliness and Depression
Studies have also shown that seniors who socialize regularly feel better about themselves and, as a result, are much less likely to suffer from loneliness and depression. Not only is social engagement good for mental health, but researchers have determined that socially isolated seniors run a greater risk for developing chronic physical problems like arthritis and lung disease.
Where Can Seniors Meet Other Seniors?
Now that you’ve seen how important it is for your loved one to stay socially active, here are some great ways for them to do so:
- Travel Clubs – Many seniors like to visit places they’ve never been to. Senior travel clubs and cruises are a fun way to see the world while meeting others with similar interests.
- Community Senior Centers – The local community senior center is a place where older adults can get together to play cards, exercise, learn a new hobby or just talk over a cup of coffee.
- Volunteer. Hospitals, cancer centers and food kitchens are always looking for retired individuals to volunteer.
- Join a Gym – Participating in some senior-focused exercise classes at a local gym is a very healthy way to meet other seniors while staying fit.
- Social Media – If your loved one is homebound, they can still stay socially active by joining social media platforms like Facebook, Facetime or Skype.
- Hire a Caregiver Companion – Another option you have is hiring them an in-home caregiver from a licensed agency who can keep them company when you’re not around.
Our In-Home Caregivers Love Keeping Seniors Company
Keeping an aging in place senior socially active can be hard when you have your own household to manage or live far away. When you need a hand, contact Optimal Senior Care Solutions. As a fully licensed and insured home care agency, our experienced caregivers know how to keep seniors active and entertained so they can continue aging comfortably in place right at home. In addition to companionship, our carefully screened aides can also provide reliable in-home services like light housekeeping, personal hygiene, meals, medication reminders and transportation.
And, all our family trusted services can be individually tailored into an affordable package that’ll put your mind at ease! To learn more about Optimal Senior Care Solutions, or to schedule a FREE, in-home assessment for a senior in your area, please visit us online today.