In past blogs, we’ve discussed whether or not Companion Services are right for your senior, as well as questions to ask your potential new live-in. However, did you know that seniors who are perfectly mobile and independent can also benefit from Companion Services?
Why is loneliness important to senior citizens?
Studies suggest that social isolation in seniors, or loneliness, has a direct correlation to anxiety, depression, decreased mobility, and even early deaths. What does this mean for seniors? Even if you are healthy, mobile, and active, the feeling of loneliness can wreak havoc on your mind and body alike.
The impact of loneliness is immense. People of all ages, not just seniors, want to feel as if their lives have purpose, and man studies show there is hardly anything more detrimental to feeling fulfilled than social isolation. Take Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or Harlow’s social isolation in Rhesus Monkeys studies, for example.
What is Social Isolation?
Social Isolation, as defined by Wikipedia, is “the complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society.” Loneliness, on the other hand, is temporary loss of contact with other humans. Unfortunately for seniors, however, is the fine line between these two.
Seniors face the unique challenge of aging within a society. The deaths of spouses and friends, a senior citizen’s social network can crumble fairly easily. For example, when a senior experiences the death of a spouse, that senior is not only losing his or her life partner, but also his/her primary source of social interactions. Deaths of friends can further this isolation, leading to depression, anxiety, and overall decrease in health.
How to Prevent Loneliness in Senior Citizens
In order to prevent social isolation, seniors should continue to form meaningful relationships. In fact, studies show that widowed adults who remain in constant contact with friends and relatives show significantly less signs of distress, with lower levels of depression, less anxiety, and overall general good health.
While the benefits of a live-in companion are numerous, they aren’t always necessary because of a physical incapability. Companion Services aren’t just for medication distribution and attending doctors’ appointments—they help senior citizens maintain valuable relationships, and therefore decrease the feeling of social isolation amongst seniors. Even more importantly, seniors who continue to connect with friends, family, and maintain those relationships, are less likely to feel lonely, meaning they will remain mentally and physically healthy longer.
Companionship Combats Loneliness
Live-In Companions are designed for more than helping “frail” seniors maintain their independence. In fact, physically healthy seniors can absolutely benefits from the effects of companionship—they help prevent social isolation and loneliness, they can help prevent degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and they can decrease a senior’s susceptibility to depression, anxiety, and immobility.
Seniors, are you lonely? Companionship Services may be the right choice for you.