The Importance of Companionship for Seniors
One of the greatest risks to the health and wellness of elderly individuals is social isolation. The loneliness that stems from isolation can lead to both mental and physical consequences, including:
- Decline in cognitive performance and higher risk of dementia
- Increase in re-hospitalization
- Higher risk of developing depression
- Heightening of blood pressure
- Engaging in unhealthy habits such as poor diet and exercise
To combat these detrimental effects, it’s crucial for seniors to get plenty of social interaction. If you’re planning to relocate your elderly loved one to an assisted living facility, make sure you choose one that prioritizes social interaction and engages its residents in regular activities. In addition, it’s important for a facility to furnish a positive, fulfilling environment. This starts with its caregivers, who should provide residents with kindness, dignity and validation. These are vital to instilling a healthy self-image, which reduces tendencies toward social isolation.
If your elderly loved one is “aging in place” at home, a good way to ensure social interaction is to hire an in-home caregiver. In addition to assisting with daily tasks and hygiene, a caregiver provides companionship both inside and outside of the home. Whether escorting your loved one to a medical appointment, accompanying them to a concert or movie, or simply sharing a meal with them at home, the continued companionship a caregiver provides will go a long way toward supporting their health and happiness.