The importance of socialization for seniors became glaringly evident during the pandemic. Isolation and loneliness, while necessary for safety, has had an incredible impact on older adults, Research is concurring with what we’ve seen firsthand: that socialization with others, and especially senior socialization, is necessary to boost the wellness of both mind and body.
The results point clearly to the impact of friendship and social engagement for seniors. A study led by Rush University Medical Center revealed that someone who reported a high degree of senior socialization was almost twice as likely to remain free of a disability involving activities of daily living than someone else with a lower level of social activity, and about 1.5 times as likely to remain free of disability involving instrumental activities of daily living or mobility. Very social seniors had a 70% reduction in their level of cognitive decline compared to unsocial seniors as well.
Even so, staying social is not instinctual to everyone, and for many, it becomes more challenging with age due to the more limited ability to get around. Here are a few ways a home care agency such as Golden Harmony can help older adults remain social and protect their quality of life:
- Provide transportation for a senior to attend social outings such as club meetings, community events like fairs, holiday activities and parades, concerts, plays, and sports events, faith-based services and activities.
- Play interactive games with the senior such as board games, cards and Nintendo Wii.
- Arrange for visits with neighbors and friends.
- Offer companionship during family celebrations or vacations for maximum safety and comfort.
- Introduce seniors to social networks such as Facebook and Skype to help them connect with family and friends, even if they’re unable to leave the home.
In the Social Activity and Wellbeing of Older Australians Study, which studied over 6,000 seniors over about 5-1/2 years, those who had routine, regular social activity were shown to have a slower decline in intellectual and memory capabilities. Better mental capacity was noted most in those people who were the most socially engaged.
Having a home care partner like Golden Harmony, the leaders in elder care in Raleigh, NC and surrounding areas, is a great way to help an older adult continue to thrive and stay social. Golden Harmony’s caregivers are dedicated to fostering the independence, dignity, and social connection of every senior we serve. To learn more about our home care services, call us at 919-426-7522.