The Importance of Social Connections for Seniors and Older Adults

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We’re often concerned about the physical health of our seniors loved ones, but we might not be paying enough attention as we should to their mental health. Changes later in life are inevitable. Retirement, moving away or death of loved ones coupled with increased time alone can bring on depression. Yet, depression and physical infirmity don’t have to accompany these life changes. Nearby family, friends and activities can help seniors stay connected with the world around them.

For older adults, social interaction helps them to build and maintain interpersonal relationships. Those relationships are important to physical and mental health along with cognitive function and abilities. With improved physical health, the immune system is also given a boost. Active seniors generally live longer than those who are isolated from the world and alone. The risk of dementia also decreases dramatically.

It might be difficult for a senior to participate in a higher level of social interaction, particularly if they feel isolated. Visit with them regularly at their home. As opposed to visiting only when your loved one needs help with a household task or transportation for errands, try to visit just to say hello. Such visits can be extremely beneficial in building feelings of acceptance and self-esteem.

If you are unable to visit, look in companionship care. Companionship or hourly home care in Denton County allows seniors to receive help with daily tasks and personal care, while also enjoying the company of a compassionate caregiver. Spending time together, whether a few times a week or a few hours a day, can help the senior form a meaningful and genuine relationship.

Some communities are keeping seniors engaged by drawing on their knowledge and experience for the benefit of community projects and volunteering at the local churches, schools and community centers. Although the health benefits of giving back and volunteering are well established in medical and psychological studies, volunteering with a purpose and goal breeds accomplishment and self worth. That strong sense of self thwarts depression and dementia and promotes confidence for seniors well in their 60s, 70s and beyond.

Family, personal friends, work and professional skills don’t have to retire with our seniors. There’s vibrant life around them, so don’t isolate them on the outside and put them in the middle of it! For more information about enhancing a senior loved one’s social ties, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care in Denton County, and learn more about our holistic approach to care that focuses on the importance of social ties as well as daily exercise, nutritious meals and achieving calmness and purpose. Call 972-468-6010 – we look forward to hearing from you.