Social Activity for Seniors: A Simple, Effective Way to Boost Wellbeing

Our caregivers can help older adults stay social and improve wellbeing.
Our caregivers can help older adults stay social and improve wellbeing.

It’s intuitive to most of us to understand that socializing with others improves well-being. It keeps us connected to other people’s experiences, beliefs, challenges, humor, viewpoints, and various other human occurrences. However, now scientific research is determining that interacting socially with others, and most notably social activity for seniors, actually may boost the wellness of both brain and body.

The outcomes point clearly to the advantages of friendship and social engagement for older adults. A study conducted by Rush University Medical Center revealed that someone who reported a high degree of senior socialization was nearly twice as likely to avoid a disability with activities of daily living than somebody with a minimal level of social activity, and about 1.5 times as likely to avoid disability with instrumental activities of daily living or mobility. Very social older adults had a 70% reduction in their rate of cognitive decline compared to unsocial peers.

Even so, being social is not instinctual to all of us, and for many, it actually is more challenging with age because one’s ability to get around can become greatly reduced. Here are several ways a home care agency such as 24/7 Idaho Home Care can help older individuals stay social and improve their wellbeing:

  • Encourage attendance at and serve as a personal escort to social outings including club meetings, community activities like fairs, holiday activities and parades, concerts, plays, and sports events, religious services and activities.
  • Play interactive games with the senior like board games, cards and Nintendo Wii.
  • Plan and arrange for visits with friends and neighbors.
  • Offer transportation to an adult day facility or a senior exercise class.
  • Provide companionship during family get-togethers or vacations for optimum safety and comfort.
  • Introduce seniors to social networks like Facebook and Skype to allow them to connect with family and friends even when they are homebound.

In the Social Activity and Wellbeing of Older Australians Study, assessing more than 6,000 older individuals over about 5-1/2 years, seniors who have routine, regular social activity were shown to have a slower decline in intellectual and memory skills. Better mental capacity was observed most in older adults who were the most socially engaged.

Having a trusted home care agency provide in-home care to motivate and assist with senior socialization might just be one of the most significant ways to help an older person continue to thrive and feel alive. 24/7 Idaho Home Care’s caregivers are all dedicated to supporting the independence, dignity, and social connection of every person we serve. To learn more about our home care in Boise and the surrounding communities, you can reach us at (208) 908-6080.