As we discussed in our last blog post, ongoing senior socialization helps improve older adult physical health in a number of ways. And if that isn’t enough incentive to avoid isolation, socialization has also been shown to benefit older adults cognitively. Just a few of the many research studies detailing positive results include:
- The “American Journal of Psychiatric Health” published a study that found social support helps provide protection from dementia.
- The Rush University Medical Center study found that very social seniors had a 70% reduction in their rate of cognitive decline in comparison to their unsocial peers.
- The MacArthur study and the Seattle Longitudinal studies suggest social activity increases cognitive function and wards off the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- In a 5½ year study which tested over 6,000 older adults, researchers found that seniors who have frequent social engagements have a slower decline in memory and intellectual abilities. Adept mental capacity was maintained most efficiently in individuals with active social lives.
Tips to Help Older Loved Ones Stay Social Throughout Aging
Knowing the importance of socialization for older adults, it’s important to help facilitate opportunities that reduce isolation and keep seniors active and engaged. A few ideas to try include:
- Identify local organizations that provide volunteer opportunities to give back to a cause that is meaningful to the older adult.
- Join a group centered on activities the senior enjoys, such as a book club, playing cards or a local religious organization.
- Find out about social outings or gatherings sponsored by the local senior center.
- Taking a pottery, cooking, or language class is a great way to interact and meet new people.
- Joining a gym not only helps older adults stay physically active, but group exercise classes also help increase socialization.
If an older loved one is homebound and struggling to engage in socialization opportunities such as these, never fear: Lend a Hand Home Care will bring social interactions right into a senior’s home. Our friendly caregiving team is trained and equipped to help older adults overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness. We can help by providing enjoyable companionship and lively conversations, engaging activities such as puzzles, cards, and board games, reminiscing, reading favorite books, watching favorite movies, and so much more. Our award-winning elder care in Reno and nearby communities is fully customizable and available for a few hours each week, up to and including 24-hour care. To learn more about how we can help a senior you love, reach out to us at 775-322-8414 to set up a free in-home consultation.