Infographic: 6 Great Reasons to Spend More Time With Others
“People who need people are the luckiest people in the world,” sang Barbra Streisand. Human evolution gave us a strong need for and reliance upon social contact. Neurologists tell us the part of our brain that is in charge of communicating and dealing with other people is very large and well developed. We suffer when we spend too much time alone. As we grow older, maintaining social connections can be more challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Here are some reasons why.
To find tips on ways family can help keep senior relatives socially connected, check out “Loneliness Among Older Adults Is a Serious Health Risk” in the Right at Home blog.
6 Great Reasons to Spend More Time With Others
Socialization is vital for physical, mental and emotional health.
Connecting with friends, family and acquaintances …
- Protects the brain. Loneliness is a dangerous state of being. It raises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and falls.
- Boosts the immune system. People with strong social connections are better able to fight off infections that cause disease.
- Provides mental stimulation. Puzzles and education are all good brain exercises—but interacting with other people is even better.
- Encourages healthy behaviors. Close connections make it more likely we’ll exercise, eat well and manage our health conditions.
- Nurtures a support network. Friends can help us when we need help … and helping our friends promotes self-esteem and a sense of purpose.
- Decreases pain. Brain chemicals released when we’re socializing can lessen the impact of pain. We might even need less medication!
To help older loved ones expand their social connections, check out:
- senior activity programs
- social media
- volunteer opportunities
- faith communities
- community organizations
Professional in-home care promotes social connections for older clients. Caregivers provide companionship, transportation to visit friends, and most important, the human touch. Contact Right at Home today and ask for a FREE in-home consultation.*
*Home care services vary by location.
Loneliness Among Older Adults Is a Serious Health Risk
Ending Social Isolation in Seniors
Isolation and loneliness have been linked to a variety of health risks, such as a higher rate of heart attack, stroke, depression, anxiety, and even premature death. Social isolation, especially among the senior population, is fast becoming an epidemic in America. Loneliness, however, is reversible; there are things individuals and communities can do to help seniors feel included.
Avoid Loneliness During Social Distancing
At the recommendations of medical experts, and in many places by government mandate, we are practicing social distancing to help halt the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Every day, we are seeing our opportunities to interact with others dwindle. Humans are wired for close contact, and studies have shown that maintaining connections, whether with acquaintances or immediate family members, combats stress and anxiety, and may lower health risks such as heart attack and hypertension.