The Importance of Socialization for the Elderly

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The Importance of Socialization for the Elderly

We like to party; we want to hang out with friends; we like to do activities together with other people. But aging takes a lot of the opportunities for socializing. Therefore, we cannot ignore the importance of socialization for the elderly. Here are a few reasons why aging adults must NEVER ignore socializing.

Humans are social creatures. Even though we mostly socialize for fun, there are underlying reasons why we interact with others at different stages of life. For example, toddlers and small children might mix to learn how to behave in society. Young adults might socialize to earn a reputation among their peers. But why should seniors socialize?

Maintaining Mental Balance

It is safe to say that most people who have to remain alone for an extended period will, as they say, lose their minds. We need our dose of human contact and interaction. But for seniors, there are more severe effects of isolation than younger age groups.

Maintaining mental balance is essential for everyone, but even more so for seniors. If seniors don’t have enough social life, they are more vulnerable to loneliness-induced anxiety, depression, and other mental problems.

Tons of evidence show that seniors have a 50% increased risk of dementia if socially isolated. Furthermore, loneliness is a common association with higher rates of suicide, depression, and anxiety.

Let’s forget about the effects of lack of socialization for seniors and look at the benefits of regular socialization instead. Frequent and sufficient socialization does not only prevent mental deterioration but improves mental health. Let’s forget about the effects of lack of socialization for seniors and look at the benefits of regular socialization instead. Frequent and sufficient socialization does not only prevent mental deterioration but improves mental health.

According to the American Public Health Association, socialization improves the mood, memory, cognitive abilities, and healthy behaviors of seniors. In addition, Socializing reduces stress and spreads positivity.

In short, maintaining mental balance is crucial for seniors. Unfortunately, there is no middle ground here. Either seniors suffer from mental health issues due to lack of socialization or grow better mentally due to sufficient socializing. It’s one or the other – deterioration or improvement.

Upholding Physical Health

Aside from maintaining their mental health, frequent socializing with friends and family also affects seniors’ physical health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many adults aged 50 or older, socially isolated or lonely, put their health at risk. They risk not just their mental health but even their physical health.

The same study states that loneliness  substantially increases an aging adult’s chances of premature death from all and any causes. The risk even rivals that of smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity.

Poor social relationships also increase the risk of heart disease by 29% and stroke by 32%. And among those who suffered from heart failure, the chances of death are four times higher among the categorically lonely. Around 68% of hospitalized heart failure patients are socially isolated, and they have an increased risk of emergency department visits by 57%.

Why are there a lot of statistics about the effects of social isolation on physical health? First, there is a deep connection between physical and mental health. Second, poor mental health, caused by loneliness and isolation, affects physical health.

Higher Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is important. Unfortunately, far too many people suffer from low self-esteem or self-confidence. According to the American Psychological Association, self-esteem sharply declines among those nearing their retirement age.

Although the age group that suffers the most from low self-esteem is the young adults’ group, there’s still concern over seniors. Self-esteem steadily rises as young adults grow into adults. That rise goes on until they reach the average age of 60. Then, self-esteem starts plummeting again.

But did you know that by simply encouraging socialization among ANY age group, you build self-esteem? Spending quality time with friends and family with people that you enjoy and boosts self-esteem. Being with people we love and care about helps us see our place in the world. We begin to see our value. Our perception of ourselves becomes more positive, and our self-worth increases.

Better Sense of Purpose

A lot of seniors struggle with finding a purpose. They feel useless and helpless. Learned helplessness is a common problem among seniors. But by creating an optimistic environment around seniors, we help eliminate this feeling and helplessness and give seniors a sense of purpose.

Frequent joyful interactions with people we care about help us see the world in a more positive light. That principle applies to everyone, including seniors. Helping seniors know the value they add to the lives of their friends and family gives them a sense of purpose. It gives them an idea that they can make a difference towards others.

Giving Seniors the Opportunities for Socialization

We now understand just how important socialization is for seniors. The thing is, how can we help seniors by boosting their opportunities for socialization? Seniors don’t have the same energy they used to, and they can’t do the same things they enjoyed doing. What can we do to help them socialize more?

Use Technology

Technology is a beautiful tool. And although technology is more associated with youth, any senior can learn to use these machines with just a little effort. In addition, technology opens the door for a lot of communication and planning some get-togethers with friends and family.

Teach your seniors how to use technology just to communicate and socialize with their friends and family. Who knows, maybe this small step can take them to great lengths.

Seek Help

As wonderful as communicating through a smartphone screen is, it is nothing compared to face-to-face interaction. Unfortunately, face-to-face interaction is more challenging for many seniors, especially those who can’t travel or can’t do anything much physically.

That’s when you should seek help for them. Infinite Love Homecare offers tons of services geared towards helping seniors get more out of life.

A few examples of our services include transportation services – which can help seniors get to their friends – or meal preparation services – which can help them prepare simple meals for others. We also offer companionship services, which is a more direct way of assisting seniors in building friendships and socializing more.

Whatever it can help your seniors socialize more and enjoy life more, our company is prepared to help you. contact us page.

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