As seniors age, they may not have as many opportunities to socialise as they did when they were younger. However, in many ways, maintaining close friendships is an essential part of remaining healthy. North Coast respite care professionals explain how having close friends can positively impact your ageing loved one’s life.
Decreases the Risk of Depression
Because being alone can lead to anxiety and depression, encourage your loved one to spend time with other seniors. The social interaction can help lower his or her risk of emotional health concerns, including depression. If your loved one does not live near his or her friends, teach him or her how to use the Internet and other forms of technology to stay in touch. Social media and video chat can give your loved one the ability to connect with close friends regularly and discuss new trends or the good times they experienced in the past.
Prevents Memory Loss
Close relationships can help your loved one increase his or her mental engagement, which can ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Even the most basic exchanges your loved one has with close friends helps keep the brain active and functioning normally. When socialising with friends, your loved one has to think about what to say and do, which stimulates the mind.
Promotes Physical Health
Having close friendships can lead to healthy behaviours like exercising. Your loved one’s friends may suggest joining a walking group or aerobics team or trying out a new diet. These healthy lifestyle choices can help your loved one burn calories, lower blood pressure, and prevent diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
A lonely heart can become an unhealthy heart. Close friendships can give your loved one a sense of belonging, which can help reduce the stress that comes with being lonely. To manage stress, some seniors turn to smoking, eating, and other bad lifestyle choices that have a negative impact on the heart. This behaviour damages the artery walls and contributes to heart disease. However, having close friendships can boost your loved one’s spirits and reduce his or her stress levels, both of which are healthy for the heart.
If your loved one needs regular companionship, turn to Home Care Assistance. We can match your loved one with a caregiver who has similar personality traits and interests and provides the care your loved one needs to remain safe, comfortable, and healthy while living at home. For more information on the home care North Coast families trust, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 1300 LIVE-IN or (02) 6646 3527.