As we discussed in our last blog, staying social helps improve our physical health in a variety of ways. As if that wasn’t incentive enough to avoid isolation, socialization also benefits us cognitively. Just a few of the many studies outlining positive results include:
- The American Journal of Psychiatric Health published a study that showed social support helps protect against dementia.
- The Seattle Longitudinal studies and MacArthur study suggest social activity increases cognitive functions and wards off the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
- The Rush University Medical Center study found that very social seniors had a 70% reduction in their rate of cognitive decline when compared to their unsocial peers.
- In a study testing over 6,000 seniors across about 5 1/2 years, seniors having frequent social engagement had a slower decline in intellectual and memory abilities. Good mental capacity was maintained best in those people who were the most socially active.
So how can you make sure your loved one stays social as he or she ages?
- Find volunteer opportunities for him or her in the community.
- Get the senior involved with a local senior center.
- Join a group focused on activities you enjoy, such as playing cards or a book club.
- Taking a cooking, pottery, or language class is a great way to interact and make new friends.
- Joining a gym or fitness center can help the senior stay both physically and socially active.
If your senior loved one is homebound and unable to engage in opportunities such as these, never fear: Visiting Angels will bring social interactions right into his or her home. Our friendly, supportive caregiving team can help your loved one overcome feelings of isolation by spending time together with companionable visits, card and board games, watching movies together, reminiscing, and much more. With in-home care services throughout Santa Clara and Alameda Counties, we’re here for you and your senior loved ones whenever you need us. Call us any time at 408-735-0977 in Sunnyvale, or 510-284-0000 in Fremont.