The elderly reap both physical and mental benefits from an active social life
If given the choice, most people would gladly choose an active social life over minimal social contact. Some elderly people, unfortunately, don’t get to choose. Because of declining health, loss of friends, and general isolation, they are left with little to no contact. The social life they used to enjoy is now dwindling, and it may have disappeared entirely. Yet multiple studies have proven the health benefits of socialization for seniors, both physical and mental.
- Improves mood and quality of life
According to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, social visits can improve the mood of elderly people with signs of depression and enhance overall quality of life. This study looked at both social activities and individual physical activities and found that both were effective at improving a person’s life.
- It may increase nutrition in the diet
There is strong evidence demonstrating that when a person is isolated from interpersonal contact, their diet quality and nutritional intake may decline. A 2009 study conducted by the University of Montreal found a positive correlation between food intake and social interaction.
According to Marie-Jeanne Kergoat, one of the study’s leading researchers, over one-third of elderly people suffer from malnutrition. The study, which sought to find out why, looked at eating habits among hospital patients, taking note of whether they ate alone or with a group.
Researchers then compared this data against food intake and discovered that people who eat in a group eat more and receive better nutritional value. Nutritional deficiencies, according to the study, are more likely to occur when someone eats alone.
- Reducing physical decline
Physical decline, whether it’s strength, flexibility, or general coordination, is a common issue for numerous seniors across the country. However, there is strong evidence that a social life will reduce the rate of physical decline.
A 2011 survey published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that health and cognitive decline are slowed when a person is active and has a strong social life. This social life can include visits with friends, attending meetings, joining clubs, or volunteering with the community. The survey found that even people who weren’t socially active earlier in life can still benefit from an increase in social interaction.
Help your loved one have a great social life!
If you are looking for home healthcare in South Florida, including assistance with helping your senior attend activities or for companionship care, contact FirstLantic.
We can help ensure your elderly loved one enjoys an active, healthy social life in Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River, or Martin County. We provide a range of home healthcare services, including hourly, daily, and overnight care to suit your needs. Give us a call anytime at 877-618-3624 or fill out our online contact form to find out more.