As we get older our lifestyle changes - we retire from work, we lose touch with old friends and colleagues, our neighbours move away, and our family begins to grow their own family. All this can lead to less social interaction in later life - especially as our bodies change and we are less able to travel around. In some cases, the lack of social interaction can lead to loneliness in elderly. According to AgeUK, as many as 1.9 million older people often feel invisible or ignored, and 3.6 million live alone here in the UK.
When it comes to an elderly person, there are many benefits of social interaction - when we socialise with others we help boost our emotional and physical health. Nurturing existing relationships helps boost morale and quality of life, and reduce the feelings of loneliness which can lead to depression and anxiety. It can also reduce bad habits such as overeating which can happen when people are bored and lonely at home. Having regular social interactions can also help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia by keeping our brains stimulated and active.
Tips on how to help people stay social later in life
Encourage your elderly relative to give local groups and coffee mornings a go - there will be others there with similar interests, and they can make new friends.
Teach your relative how to use FaceTime and Skype - this means they can connect with friends and family anywhere in the world!
Look at arranging Live-in Care. A Live-in Carer is someone who can provide companion care. Someone who will be your relatives friend, enjoying their favourite hobbies at home and outside, helping them get to events hosted by family and friends, and so much more.
Make time to pop in for a tea or coffee - even an hour of social interaction can lift your elderly relatives mood!
If you would like to know more about arranging hourly at home care or Live-in Care, please call our friendly team on 01264 319 399.