Seniors who live alone may not only have difficulties getting around and doing things for themselves, but they also have the risk of loneliness. While loneliness may not seem like a health risk, it actually is. It can have negative impacts on a person in many ways, and this is primarily because people need social interaction. Social interaction is vital for the emotional health of a senior, and here are three ways staying socially connected can help.
It is a need
Researchers believe that the need for social interaction is very similar to the need for food. It is impossible to live without food, and it can be almost impossible to live without social interaction. Loneliness is extremely common with seniors who live alone, but it can take a toll on their health and emotions.
Staying connected with others gives seniors motivation, drive, and fulfillment. Without it, a person can begin experiencing a lot of emotional issues.
It can reduce the risk of depression
Depression is commonly linked to loneliness and isolation. When people do not have social interaction, their brains can begin producing more stress hormones. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone, and a person's body does not handle large levels of cortisol well. It causes an increase in blood pressure, which makes the heart work harder, and it can lead to problems with the functions of the immune system. People who are lonely often feel unsafe and sad, and these feelings can lead to worsening of depression.
When seniors stay socially active, they feel happier, safer, and more content. This reduces the risk of depression, and it can also keep a senior physically healthier.
It keeps a person's mind in better condition
A recent study found that seniors who stay socially active and connected with others have a lower chance of developing dementia. While it is not exactly clear why this is, researchers believe it may be due to the stimulation of the brain that occurs during social interaction. It could also be due to the way social interaction helps prevent loneliness, and loneliness is one cause of memory loss.
Seniors that are lonely have a lot of physical and emotional health risks, but there is a way to avoid these issues. If you have an aging relative that is lonely, you could consider talking to him or her about assisted living. Assisted living facilities offer a lot of services, and they can be the perfect solution for seniors that are lonely and isolated.