How you can be helping Seniors avoid social isolation
Over the years, research has proven time and time again the benefits of having an active social life. Furthermore, it has also been proven that social isolation and loneliness can have detrimental effects on health. It has been shown that seniors who are socially isolated tend to have a shorter life than those who are socially active. Social isolation is one of the leading causes for the development of dementia among older adults. Therefore, the need arises to decrease the risk of social isolation amongst older adults and instead encourage social integration. Some of the ways to promote connectedness and social health include:
Promoting a Sense of Purpose
Seniors who feel they have a sense of purpose in life are less likely to give in to social isolation and its negative effects. Not only are hobbies a good way of promoting a sense of purpose, they also tend to be social in nature. Another good way to attain a sense of purpose is to volunteer, so make sure there are enough opportunities available for volunteering. Senior care centers often have planned events and volunteering options available for those who wish to undertake them.
Having something to take care of
Taking care of someone else (or even something else) leads to feeling important and needed and therefore reduces the risk of social isolation. Nurturing a plant or pet can have the following benefits:
- Feeling less lonely
- Feeling more secure
- Remaining socially engaged
- Feeling less depression
- Requirement of less medication (proven through research)
- More motivation for other activities
In the case that your loved one resides in a senior care facility which doesn’t allow pets, opt for choosing a plant instead.
Encouraging positive body image
It has been observed through research that many seniors, because of having a poor body image, have a tendency to avoid social interaction all together. Individuals who are overweight have a higher tendency of social isolation because they may feel embarrassed and become self conscious. Positive comments and compliments help promote self esteem and ultimately a desire to be socially active. Discourage them from worrying about their appearance or the negative physical effects of aging.
Using Adaptive Technologies
Adaptive technologies help compensate for deficiencies which are age-related and hamper social interaction. Seniors should be encouraged to make use of these technologies (including hearing aids and walkers). Avoiding the use of adaptive technologies, because it hampers social interaction, leads to a higher likelihood of falling into isolation.
Research, especially in the field of psychotherapy, has shown that the element of touch serves as a healing agent directly for the soul. A real heart-to-heart hug helps promote wellbeing and reduce stress. Research has shown that babies who have been deprived of touch yet still given the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, have a shorter life expectancy than those who have been cradled. Furthermore, those who are deprived of touch have a higher tendency of developing mental illness as they grow older. Regardless of age, hugging and touch has its importance in healing and promoting wellbeing.
Stop searching for Help Now: We’ve Got What You Need
The nurses at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home senior care needs including how to stay healthy at home with RN managed affordable care. We are a private duty home care agency that provides elder home care serves in the Orlando area, call us at 407-788-9393.