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How Socializing Keeps Seniors’ Brains Healthy

Many don’t realize that in-house caregivers do more than look out for a senior’s health concerns. Loneliness and social isolation are two common issues for seniors that opt for home care in Macomb.

One major benefit of working with a caregiver is the human interaction they provide for many seniors. These professionals are also companions for older adults who might not see loved ones as often as they used to. It gives them an opportunity to socialize with people, especially if they don’t live near friends or family.

Why is this socialization important? Seniors who go long periods of time without engagement with others are more susceptible to health concerns such as dementia, an increased risk of falls, and high blood pressure.

In fact, research suggests that maintaining friendships may protect people from cognitive decline as they age. A team at Northwestern University spent nine years studying adults over the age of 80 whose memories were sharper than people who were two or three decades younger. Something all of these “SuperAgers” had in common? The amount of satisfying, fulfilling relationships they had.

Friendships are healthy for humans on many levels. Conversations help boost cognitive function, while games help stimulate the brain and keep seniors sharp. One study found that the rate of cognitive decline was 70% less in seniors who had frequent social contact (versus those that did not socialize often).

Finding companionship can sometimes be more difficult as the years go on. Retirement communities are often popular due to their social calendars and close living quarters. However, whether it’s due to privacy concerns or a desire to stay in the house, they’re not for everyone. This makes the availability of home care in Chesterfield crucial for keeping seniors mentally and physically healthy.

These professionals form close bonds with their clients, which helps seniors have better self-esteem. These frequent interactions also provide them with a sense of belonging, improves physical health, and increases cognitive functioning.

Ways to Encourage Socialization

Caregivers can help provide the companionship seniors need in a variety of ways. For many, it can be as simple as having a conversation. Ask about their hobbies and interests, talk about current events, or ask them to tell you a favorite story from their past.

For other seniors, it’s doing an activity together such as planting a garden or figuring out a crossword puzzle. Try to bring over something new to try each week, such as a book to read aloud or an interesting jigsaw puzzle that will last the afternoon.

Social outings are also an excellent idea for seniors that still retain mobility. This can include visiting a local museum, walking around the park or even going to the movies to catch the matinee.

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