Meeting the physical needs of an aging loved one is a top priority for family caregivers, but one aspect that may be lacking for the senior is companionship. Unfortunately, with age, many seniors experience the loss of close friends and family, resulting in a lack of socialization and a decreased level of participation in social activities. This reduction in companionship and overall socialization often becomes a serious problem for the aging or elderly adult, one that can have detrimental effects on the quality of life and even the health of the senior.
That being said, seniors who are able to enjoy the companionship of others on a regular basis and who continue to forge meaningful relationships into their golden years, are able to enjoy a number of benefits which can include but are not limited to:
- Decreased Incidence of Depression – As mentioned previously, the loss of a spouse or loved ones, or friends who move or no longer live near, can leave a senior feeling isolated and even hopeless. Statistics indicate that seniors who do not maintain social ties are more likely to become depressed, often the result of feeling alone with no one to confide in. Seniors who remain social as they age are better able to combat negative feelings such as depression and enjoy a higher sense of belonging and self-worth.
- Improved Physical Health – Those who have close relationships with peers and family members may also have better physical health. While this may be due to a variety of reasons, it is believed that social seniors are more motivated and may actually take better care of themselves than seniors who withdraw from social situations. Seniors who enjoy the companionship of others are also said to be more physically active. This alone can have a profound impact on a senior’s overall health and wellness.
- Enhanced Mood & Memory – Some studies show that companionship plays a role in boosting mood and preserving memory. Companionship provides a senior with the opportunity to share memories with someone. Telling stories, going through old pictures and just talking about “the good old days” gives the senior a chance to reflect on their journey and makes them feel good about their accomplishments. This can help to enhance mood, and requires the senior to recall stories from their past which can help to ward off memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Companionship is an important aspect of life for individuals of all ages, however its role becomes more significant in the lives of seniors and older adults. Learn how to provide your aging loved one with the companionship they need by contacting Home Care Assistance today. We are a leading provider of home care in Boca Raton and offer companionship care services to help enhance the lives of seniors in the community. For more information, call 561-826-9282 today.