Humans are social creatures. Even the most reclusive people cannot entirely forego social interactions. In the elderly, unmet social needs are especially detrimental to their health.
According to University of Rochester Medical Center, here are just a few benefits of being social in older adults:
- Lower blood pressure
- Potentially reduced risk for osteoporosis, some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular problems
- Potentially reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease
- Reduced risk for mental health problems such as depression
While it’s important to help your aging loved ones maintain their independence and autonomy, their social needs can’t be overlooked. At Family First Companion Care, we provide personalized companion care for your loved ones.
Risks of social isolation
Due to the rise of nuclear families, it’s not uncommon for today’s elderly to be left to their own devices. Family members might have moved far away and logistics might make them difficult to visit more often. Caring friends and neighbors can help, but with limited mobility, this might not always be an option.
When the elderly population’s social and emotional needs are not met, what are some of the consequences?
- Feelings of loneliness and depression
- Risks of being less physically active
- High blood pressure
- Exposure to a greater risk of death
As far as medicine has come, doctors cannot write a prescription to cure someone’s loneliness. It can only be handled through regular social interactions.
How can older adults stay more socially active?
There are many ways older adults can keep their social calendar busy. Volunteering in their community, learning something new (knitting, language, music, cooking, etc.), and joining a fitness class are all some of the ways they can stay active.
The good thing about these activities is that they can be as social or individual as one wants them to be. Individual activities are good for introverted older adults, who don’t necessarily get energy from being around people for a prolonged period. There is still a “social” component to being outside where people are congregated; yet each activity can be tuned to be as little or much social.
What does companion care provide?
For people who are more or less homebound and have problems with mobility, in home companion care is the best solution. Besides tending to physical tasks like housekeeping, shopping, monitoring medications, and so forth, companion care also takes into account more social needs of older adults.
Entertainment like cards and board games or just being there for conversations are what companion care is all about. Regular social interactions can help the elderly stay mentally active and meet their emotional needs.
How can Family First Companion Care help?
Older adults shouldn’t have to give up on stimulating conversations and meeting new people. Family First Companion Care provides just that – filling the social gap that inevitably comes with being older, by engaging in friendly conversations and encouragement. Because every senior’s social needs are different, we tailor our companion care plan to each client to make sure they get exactly what they need.