Find out about the benefits of social interaction for the elderly and how you can boost the social life of the elderly person in your life.
During our lifetime most of us see lots of different people every single day. You see your colleagues, you might know the people in your local shop, you get the chance to make smalltalk and chit-chat about this and that. Maybe you also see your children and your partner, your neighbours and maybe some friends at some point too.
As we age, retire from work, begin to lose touch with old friends and colleagues, this kind of social routine tends to dissipate somewhat. Friends and relatives may move away, into care or, sadly pass away. Your family may have their own family to take care of and you might not have as much freedom as you once did because you cannot drive anymore or perhaps you have mobility issues.
These sorts of change in circumstances can happen to anyone but can pave the way to loneliness for the elderly. According to AgeUK Statistics as many as 1.9 million older people often feel invisible or ignored and 3.6 million live alone here in the UK. The same statistics tells us that loneliness can be as dangerous as smoking when it comes to our health.
The Benefits Of Social Interaction For The Elderly
Keeping and cultivating relationships and spending time with other people is extremely important when it comes to an elderly person and their emotional and physical health and wellbeing. Depression can be avoided or minimised and bad habits associated with depression such as substance abuse, alcoholism and overeating can also be avoided. The elderly are also more likely to be remain physically active because they feel they have a reason to get out and about. It is also important to note that socialising can help to prevent dementia or other brain conditions, according to The Alzheimer’s Society.
How To Help The Elderly Remain Socially Involved
There is no need for an elderly person to be lonely in later life, it just takes an adjustment of routine or social life management. For example: perhaps you might want to encourage your elderly relative or neighbour to attend some local hobby groups of coffee mornings with people of the same age. Maybe you could help show your relative how to use Skype, or help them with a basic mobile phone for making phone calls. Often it is helping them feel a sense of confidence in being social that makes all the difference.
Perhaps your elderly loved one requires a little more support and maybe if they had more independence or help, they could be more social. In this instance it could be time to look into domiciliary or live-in care.
Domiciliary and live-in care both enable your loved one to receive care in their own home. Care is tailored to their needs and can be basic, helping with washing and eating, getting dressed and getting around, or specialist, if they have dementia or any medical conditions that require special attention.
With a tailored at-home care package a professional carer will also be able to help and encourage an elderly person to socialise more. With the emotional and physical support of a trained carer attending events and activities this can be a simple way to re-engage with their community and reap the benefits of social interaction for the elderly.
For more impartial advice, The Live-in Care Hub has plenty of resources and information online that are specifically related to care in your own home.