Good social support is vital to the mental and physical health of aging adults. A social network can help seniors manage stress related to health issues or a variety of life changes they experience. The La Mesa, CA, in-home care experts at Coast Care Partners discuss a few of the reasons socialization is important for adults in their golden years.
Keeps the Brain Active
Aging causes the brain to experience changes in size and cognitive function, and the hormones and proteins that normally protect and repair brain cells begin to decrease with age. Seniors are also more likely to experience decreased blood flow to the brain, which impairs their memory and cognitive skills. Remaining social in the senior years is one way for older adults to keep their brains active. Socialization can preserve brain health, keep seniors mentally engaged, and delay memory loss.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety Levels
It’s not always easy for adults to avoid stressful situations, especially in their senior years. These are the times when adults are likely to face losing a spouse or close friends, or they could be diagnosed with an age-related illness that impacts their quality of life. As a result, many seniors isolate themselves and avoid family gatherings, public events, or social outings with loved ones. Isolation can lead to chronic stress and depression, causing other serious issues such as heart disease. However, maintaining a social life can help seniors feel happier and reduce their stress and anxiety levels.
The function of T cells decreases with age, causing parts of the immune system to weaken. When the T cells are unable to kill antigens or coordinate with other parts of the immune system, seniors are at an increased risk of becoming ill. However, socialization is an effective way to strengthen the immune system. When seniors get out of the house and interact with others, they have more exposure to the sunlight, which can help their bodies create vitamin D. This vitamin is critical to T cell functioning. Therefore, maintaining an active social life can help seniors fight off the flu, common colds, and even some types of cancer.
Leads to a Better Quality of Life
Adults who are social during their senior years can live longer and healthier lives. The support of a social network can act as a buffer between seniors and stressful situations, but socializing with others can also encourage seniors to take better care of themselves. For example, when attending an art class or volunteering at the local library, seniors can look forward to attending a social event each week and do everything possible to avoid missing the outing, including taking medications correctly, exercising, and eating healthy.
Spending time with a La Mesa, CA, elderly caregiver is a great way for seniors to get the regular socialization they need to remain healthy. At Coast Care Partners, our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are wonderful companions who can assist seniors with a wide array of household tasks, including cooking, bathing, and light housekeeping. To learn more about our premier in-home care services, give us a call today at 619-354-2544.