In our business, Aurora Home Care helps people in a variety of situations including hospice, and those in need of in-home nursing care. Experience dictates that social isolation has a huge negative impact on seniors, both mentally and physically. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that the stress levels in our elder population who feels lonely are far higher, along with blood pressure levels.
How Important is Social Interaction
The body of studies coming out of numerous acclaimed medical universities illustrates an unmistakable pattern. When a senior interacts with peers, family, and the community their quality of life improves. The companionship offered by a home health care aide can certainly be part of that picture, too.
Approximately ¼ of all adults over the age of 65 feel isolated. Living alone increases that percentage. So, think of social connections are like vitamin pills for the mind and spirit of your loved one. When it’s consistently provided, it may even prolong the intellect before dementia becomes noticeable.
What exactly are the health risks presented by isolation and loneliness. While measurements are somewhat subjective, the basic risks that come forward repeatedly include
- Increase risk of dementia
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased hospital or emergency room visits
- Poor or inappropriate social behaviors
- Suicidal thoughts
As a person ages, especially someone with physical challenges, the world becomes a far smaller place. The activities they once loved become limited due to the lack of transportation, or people willing to help. That little box is a dark place, and one no one should have to face. If you’re living in Philadelphia or Feasterville, home care by Aurora’s professional team can offer invaluable assistance to overworked family caregivers.
Friend and Family Supports
Remaining active and informed is one of the best ways you can support the senior in your life. Try some of these tips:
- Create a contact list of people who are willing to visit at home, or in places where your loved one can travel comfortably. Use them!
- Find volunteer activities. If your loved one has the capacity, get them hooked up with a volunteer activity, like showing love to adoptable dogs and cats, or reading books at a library. That weekly activity will become a huge social hub for elders that will expand their circle.
- Fun! If your senior loves board games, dust them off! Try charades. Anything that brings joy and laughter is a good option.
- Telephone calls and emails: If your senior uses the computer, daily email can be as friendly as finding your home mailbox filled with cards. Telephone calls are also great pick-me-ups. Try to set up a schedule of each with friends, families, churches, etc.
- Stress family time. Honestly, this is advice everyone should take, but it’s even more important for elders. Talk to them. Share stories. If they have specific knowledge sets, ask about those, too. Grandma’s recipes are all in her head!
- Consider a professional in-home health aid. They give the whole family a little relief. Email Aurora Home Care at firstname.lastname@example.org, use our online contact form or call any one of our three offices in Feasterville ( 1-215-354-4444), Wyomissing (1-610-375-1800), and Lancaster, PA ( 1-717-200-1414)
Balancing all this, make sure your senior doesn’t get information overload, so to speak. The spring in their step isn’t as bouncy. They become laid-back and won’t be able to keep up with what YOU consider socializing.
By following these simple steps with personal adjustment, you can have your elder feel more engaged with life in a short time.