The National Institute on Aging reports that 3 in 10 seniors are living alone. Sometimes they simply want independence, which is very healthy. But there are risks to living alone. It’s easier to spiral into anxiety and depression without socialization. In fact, over 40% of the aging population experiences loneliness. This is one of the reasons people reach out to a home care agency like Aurora Home Care and Hospice for an aide. Having another person around not only provides household support but acts as a social outlet too. Continue reading to learn more about why Elderly Socialization is Critical!
Why is Socialization so Important?
The saying goes, “no man is an island” and it’s inherently true. Humans are tribal. Quite frankly we need each other. We function better when we’re regularly engaged in community settings where we can interact. There are very real health hazards for isolated seniors.
Three Reasons why Socialization is Critical for the Elderly
- Studies show that ongoing isolation can lead to physical deterioration and poor mental health. The National Academy of Sciences says individuals without socialization are at a higher risk for coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, and Alzheimer’s (or dementia).
- Reclusiveness may lead to unhealthy behaviors. A person may stop exercising (leading to obesity) or attend to self-care, for example. After all, there’s no one to impress so why bother? Such individuals sometimes seek comfort in alcohol or smoking. Any of these factors can lead to premature death.
- Mental health benefits abound. Depression is one of the most common outcomes of extended withdrawal from society. Depression can worsen chronic illness, particularly the perception of pain. Socialization improves a person’s mood and memory recall. Even a game of bingo has a positive impact.
As a generalization, as people age, they become less active. But there are ways you can encourage your loved one to get up, get out, and get going! If your hands are tied with 101 other responsibilities, look into hiring an aide who can give the individual personalized attention.
Here are some activities that support socialization and good mental health
- Group outings (based on interest)
- Going to movies
- Playing cards or parlor games
- Walking groups
- Soft impact exercise classes.
- Swimming (maybe a gym membership)
- Involvement in a support group
Going to support groups in particular provides emotional support while promoting new connections and stronger relationships.
To the Rescue: Aurora at Home Care Agency in Delaware County
The idea of getting your loved one out and socialized isn’t always practicable. You have a job, kids, chores, etc. and the hours in a day slip away pretty quickly. The idea of adding one more task to your schedule feels daunting. That’s where home health caregivers come into play.
Some folks feel guilty for looking into outside help. Don’t. You have to take care of yourself too! But you probably have questions about how having an aide works. We can answer them for you. We have two offices in Delaware County for your convenience:
Feasterville, PA: 215-354-4444 (Home Care) 215-396-8822 (Hospice)
Wyomissing, PA: 610-375-1800
You can also reach out via email: email@example.com