Ask a group of people what it means to be social, and the answers will be as varied as each individual: meeting friends at a restaurant each week for lunch, belonging to a club, taking classes. For seniors who find it difficult to leave home, however, socializing could be reduced to sporadic phone calls and visits. Isolation in older adults is, sadly, all too common. Yet the benefits of seniors staying social are numerous, including the following:
Socialization Reduces the Chance for Cognitive Decline and Disability
A report from the Rush University Medical Center revealed that enhanced socialization in seniors is linked to reduced levels of cognitive decline. Not only that, but those who reported a higher level of social activity were significantly less likely to struggle with the ability to perform activities of daily living (bathing, getting dressed, etc.) than others who reported a less social lifestyle. They were also almost twice as likely to avoid disabilities that impacted instrumental activities of daily living (preparing meals, tending to housework, etc.) and to maintain a higher overall degree of mobility.
Socialization Affects Physical Healing
A recent study conducted of more than 3,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer showed a link between social levels and physical symptoms experienced. The women answered questions regarding their social interactions and activities, along with their emotional and physical state during cancer treatment. Those who indicated having a strong level of social support reported a lower propensity for physical symptoms as well as an elevated emotional state than those with little or no socialization.
Socialization May Even Increase Lifespan
According to a report shared by Medical News Today, “Seniors who live a socially active life and prioritize social goals have higher late-life satisfaction.” Not only that, but in studying areas of the world known for a higher-than-average lifespan, one of the key common denominators was a high level of social activity.
The benefits for seniors who stay social are overwhelming, and it’s important to ensure that the seniors you know and love have plenty of opportunities for socialization. At Senior HomeCare of Tucson, we’re always here to help!
Providing the best home health care Tucson and the surrounding area have to offer, our in-home caregivers provide friendly companionship, opportunities to remain engaged in the community, transportation to and from social engagements and encouragement to participate in a variety of activities to prevent isolation. Call us at 520-355-4787 to learn more and to request a free in-home consultation.