Older Adult Socialization: Staving off Alzheimer’s with Socialization
Human beings are social creatures above all. So it is no surprise that our desire to spend time with our fellow man does not diminish with age. In fact, staying social becomes even more important as we age because science has shown that there are proven benefits associated with socialization that can help ward off damaging diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Here are just a few of the most important ones:
1. Improving Cognitive Functions
The studies have shown it time and time again – a good social life keeps the brain sharp. When you interact with people on a daily basis, your brain continues to learn and form new connections. In this respect, a pleasant conversation can be as effective as a cognitive exercise, and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia for all older adults.
2. Lessening the Odds of Physical Ailments
It’s not just the mind that stands to benefit from forming new connections. The body itself feels the love whenever we create a strong bond with someone by releasing health-promoting chemicals that also happen to boost the immune system. A person with a good social life is much more likely to feel physically well and enjoy an active lifestyle that’s filled with fun and excitement.
3. Creating a Sense of Belonging
Everyone enjoys the feeling of being part of something bigger. Whether it’s a community of like-minded people or just your neighbors, there is great joy to be found in this sense of belonging. This is especially important for people who have lost spouses or close friends, and who generally tend to become more closed-off as they age. Friendship knows no bounds, however, so it’s important to keep cultivating new connections regardless of age.
4. Fostering Accountability
Leading a healthy life is hard, even more so when you decide to go at it alone. That’s why people tend to go to the gym in pairs, and why they usually decide to try out new diets together. The same applies to older adults as well – they’re much less likely to develop bad habits or indulge in dubious behavior when there are others around that can help them overcome difficult moments. Socialization creates reasons to stay healthy and presentable beyond retirement.
5. Enabling a Purposeful Life
Having things to do is what gives life meaning. Meeting a friend or looking forward to a phone call is enough to get most people out of bed each day, so it’s important to nurture this sense of fulfillment by leading a purposeful life. Having great relationships is an excellent reminder of just how worthwhile the simple act of living can be.
All in all, creating social ties is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle during those golden years. That’s why Home Care Assistance Cincinnati includes older adult socialization as one of the main pillars of its Balanced Care Method. All of the agency’s therapists are trained to be more than just professionals when doing their job. They act as valued companions to the older adults in the HCA family, encouraging them to create new relationships and embrace the world around them. For more info, be sure to visit the HCA website and request a free in-home consultation today.