One of the most common problems that face elderly people is loneliness. Perhaps their partner and many of their friends have passed away, and they don’t see their family as much. Mobility issues can also make it harder to socialize if they find it difficult to get out of the house regularly. This loneliness and isolation can cause their health to deteriorate, so it’s important that efforts are made to maintain socialization for seniors.
What are the benefits of socialization for seniors?
Socialization has a range of benefits for both the mental and physical health of seniors.
Psychologically, isolation can have serious effects. Socializing regularly helps to keep issues like depression at bay, which can lead to further complications like failing to look after themselves properly. Regular socialization is something to look forward to, providing a purpose in life. It also helps to boost self-esteem, making seniors feel better about themselves.
Improved mental health has knock-on effects on our physical health. One major factor is that socialization and its effects help to boost the immune system, making illnesses and their complications less likely to occur. If your socialization involves getting out of the house and being active, then this also helps you to keep your body in better shape and maintain strong bones and muscles.
Socialization also helps to keep the mind sharp by taking part in lively conversation and novel situations. This helps to improve memory and other aspects of cognitive functioning, reducing the rate at which the brain degenerates, which helps to reduce conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
How to get seniors socializing?
Living alone can be really isolating for seniors, especially if they have mobility issues. Living in a care home or an assisted living community puts them in a much more social environment, with staff members and other residents there to socialize with on a daily basis. An assisted living community also gives seniors the chance to retain their independence and privacy as much as possible.
If you have a senior family member who insists on staying in their own home rather than moving to assisted living, then it’s important to make sure that you continue to visit them on a regular basis to keep up this socialization. You should also encourage them to join local groups. See what activities and groups are available in your area for seniors. A regular walking group or book club, for example, could help them make new friends to socialize with.
Here at Brookstone of Clemmons, our assisted living community provides all our seniors with a welcoming, sociable environment in which to continue to live an enjoyable life. Get in touch if you would like to know more about our community.