Socializing and making friends can be a great way to relax, unwind, and alleviate some of life’s every day stresses. Being out and about has shown to improve our moods and lift our spirits, both of which can ward off the onset of mental illnesses such as depression. However, researchers have recently discovered even more benefits to being socially active – especially for people of advanced age.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found that elderly people who remain socially active are far less likely to develop memory loss than their peers who are not socially active. Further, the researchers also found that socially active elders who do develop memory loss develop it at a slower rate than their peers who are not socially active.
In addition to maintaining and improving cognitive function, being socially active can ward off other common maladies of old age, such as depression. Depression often creeps in when moods and self esteem are low, usually due to isolation compounded by other life changing events. Being in the company of people with whom they feel a connection and that they enjoy can remedy some of these ill feelings before they have a chance to have any adverse effects.
If an elderly loved one doesn’t already have a circle of friends with whom they are able to socialize, there are many opportunities for elderly individuals to meet new people in their communities. Here are some of the ways that caregivers and family members of elderly loved ones can help them find an appropriate social setting.
If an elderly loved one is not active in a local church, visiting one can be a good way of meeting new and interesting people with whom to connect. Since most religious services offer side classes grouped by age, it is more likely they will be in the company of people their own age with whom they may share common interests.
Senior activity centers
Most communities have some kind of activity center for the aged population. These centers generally offer a variety of ways for the elderly to interact with their peers, such as art classes, games, field trips, and exercise programs.
Social service organizations
Many social service organizations are geared toward meeting the needs of the elderly sector of society. Social workers employed by these organizations can be a fountain of information for caregivers and family members who are looking for age appropriate activities for their loved one.
By using our home care services here at Hearts at Home Senior Care our staff can help your loved one get to these social areas. Or if the home care is needed due to a lack of mobility then the caregiver can help to organize visits from friends and family.