By Colleen Van Horn RN, B.S.N., PHN, CCM,
Innovative Healthcare Consultants
It goes without saying that everyone needs social interaction to make the most of a full and happy life. Whether it’s a walk in the park or conversation over a shared meal, sharing our lives is arguably the best part of living. And when it comes to senior health, having a social life is in fact the essential ingredient to long-term health and well-being.
According to the
, researchers found that having a social environment can lead to happier and healthier lives for our senior loved ones. Interestingly, the study also found that elderly people have better diets when surrounded by social environments such as that in care homes or assisted living facilities.
When elderly people are surrounded by people, they not only eat better, but they also tend to thrive.
“These findings suggest that improving people’s social ties can have a positive impact on health,” the report said. “Loneliness has a negative health impact equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is worse for us than well-known risk factors such as alcohol obesity and physical inactivity,” it added.
, we learn that seniors need family and friends more than ever, and perhaps even more than other demographics. It’s important to note that solitude can spiral an otherwise happy elderly person into depression. Incredibly, nearly 50 percent of seniors who are in senior homes do not have relatives who regularly visit them.
“The number of people the elderly come into contact with daily is often limited, and they long to see a new and refreshing face,” the article added.
The reality of the situation is that the elderly population is expected to double in 2030. And that means there will be about 72 million seniors in care communities within the next 25 years, according to data published at the
DOES YOUR ELDERLY PARENT OR LOVED ONE NEED SOCIAL INTERACTION?
In many cases, families place their loved ones in specialized care due to loneliness. The good news is that many elderly people are able to adapt to their new surroundings within just a few months. And in most cases, seniors enjoy their new surroundings far better than when living in solitude. A new social circle, fun activities and healthy food are just some of the benefits that seniors can experience when transitioning into care homes or assisted living facilities.
A geriatric care manager in San Diego can simplify the process of finding the best care and social environment for your elderly parent or loved one. The truth is that when families begin their initial search for quality care, the options can become overwhelming. Plus, when relatives live far away, the task can become even more daunting. Geriatric care managers can help. Visit
or give us a call at (760) 731-1334.