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Scientists have discovered that having an active social life can help people stay mentally and physically healthy. This is particularly true for older people — the mental and physical stimulation received from talking to people and going to new places can lead to some very positive outcomes.
Unfortunately, as people age it can become difficult to maintain relationships and stay socially active. This article will highlight some of the benefits of companionship for seniors before sharing some ideas for boosting the amount of companionship you receive.
What the Research Says
The health benefits of companionship for seniors are significant and include:
- Improved cardiovascular health.
- Lower levels of stress
- A stronger immune system
- A better regulation of blood-sugar levels
- Stronger self-esteem
- Less risk of mental health problems
- Reduced cognitive decline
- Less hospital stays
On the flip side, if you don’t partake in enough social activities it can be detrimental to your health. A study published in 2010 looked at data from more than 309,000 people. It found that people with low levels of social engagement were 50% more likely to die prematurely!
Other studies have found that not having sufficient companionship with others can have a negative effect on blood pressure and cognitive function. Spending too much time alone has also been linked to depression.
Some Ways to boost the amount of companionship you receive
There are plenty of ways to increase the level of companionship you receive including:
- Join a volunteer organization
There are many volunteer organizations that are desperately in need of help. You could help an animal shelter by providing a temporary space for distressed animals, help feed the homeless, or spend time restoring a native habitat by planting trees.
- Accept invitations as much as possible
When an invitation comes your way, accept it! If you need help getting to the event, ask a relative or friend for help. You could also use a home care service to help you attend special events.
- Join a social club or church group
Churches and social clubs are often organize events for older members. These events often include things like bingo nights, Sunday brunches, card nights and sporting events. They are a great way for an older person to expand their social circle.
- Continue your education
Just because you are older, it doesn’t mean you have to stop learning! Taking a class or learning a new hobby is a great way to meet new people.
- Become a mentor
The elderly have decades of experience which can positively impact our younger generation. If you have a unique set of skills that might benefit someone, make yourself available as a mentor. There are now websites that connect young people with experienced mentors. You could impart some valuable knowledge and make some new friends.
- Get involved in social media
You have probably heard of Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus by now. They are forms of social media that allow people to communicate with each other. You can sign up to learn what your friends and family are up to.
How Non-Medical Home Care Can Help
Home care involves a trained professional coming into your home to provide assistance. They can perform many kinds of tasks including cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, helping you get dressed, providing transport, assisting with medication management and much more. They can help you obtain companionship in a number of ways:
They can provide transport to and from social events
Perhaps you are interested in attending more social events, but you can no longer drive or use public transport. A home care service provider can take you to and from various social events so you can socialize with friends and family.
They can help you prepare for social events
A home care provider can help you bathe and get dressed before going to a social event so you are looking your best.
Home care staff can provide companionship
Caregivers can also take some time to sit you and have a chat or perhaps play a game of cards. They can provide you with some companionship every time they pay a visit to your home.
They can help you organize a social event at your home
Caregivers can help you plan and organize a social event by sending invitations, doing some shopping and preparing a meal. They can even help serve the food to your guests and make sure the event is a success.
If you have further questions about the benefits of companionship for seniors or if you are interested in learning more about home care, contact All Heart Home Care today at 619-736-4677 for a free in-home consultation.