Care at Home Can Combat Isolation and Depression
Can the lack of socialization and social support really effect an elder‘s overall quality of life? Absolutely, YES.
How important is social support as a person ages? Social activity helps us all! In effect, we remain “connected”.
Home Care Partners provides elders at home with personalized, private-duty homecare services. Some seniors are quiet by nature, and enjoy watching TV, reading, knitting, and napping during their days at home. This allows our staff to attend to the many daily household chores and responsibilities in the home. But this does not mean these elders prefer isolation. These seniors welcome helpful staff in their home – assisting with chores such as laundry, scheduling, medication reminders, and meal preparation. Home care staff means someone is there to help.
Many clients are more active, and enjoy getting out to run errands, shop, and participate in Senior Center activities/programs. They, too, enjoy the companionship of our staff when running out to Walmart for shopping, or the local pharmacy for medical items. Some enjoy simply sitting in the local mall, and people-watching as they shop.
Loneliness Can Lead to Depression
Most seniors do not, and would not, voluntarily choose isolation and loneliness. Loneliness can lead to boredom, which leads to physical inactivity, which can contribute to depression.
Lack of socialization and/or accompanying social support can have a negative impact on an individual’s health and well being, especially our aging population. Those seniors with consistent social support from friends, neighbors, family, and care staff are testament to the positive aspects of social support which contributes to the psychological and physical health and wellness of our elderly. Social support from others can be important in defeating psychological problems such as depression and anxiety, along with some stress reduction.
Many leisure activities can contribute to an elder‘s psychological well-being. Activities for seniors may include reminiscence groups, journal writing, book readings or book clubs, group exercise, singing groups, etc. Another example: occasionally, I speak at a local senior social club. All the attendees come by for snacks, coffee & refreshments, and for the enjoyment of something to do every Wednesday afternoon. They raffle off lottery tickets, laugh, listen to music, and visit with other neighborhood seniors. There is a comradery amongst this group of elders and retirees. All benefit from the activity and opportunity to talk, eat, and listen. Best of all…they all participate in planning, room set-up, and clean-up!
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164