Helping Seniors Stay Social

Friends Having Lunch Together At A RestaurantAs we grow up, we understand the importance of having a ‘social life.’ Friends and family with similar interests or situations are confidants, sounding boards and companions for experiences in good times and bad. Unfortunately, as we get older and require geriatrics care, assisted living and home health care, new friends are not as easy to come by and unfortunately, other friends move on or pass away. This is why Helping Seniors Stay Social is so important.

Even though this is a truth of getting older, it doesn’t change that fact that people need social interaction as an important part of their mental or emotional health. Just because someone gets older and lives in assisted living, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need friends or social interaction. Actually, according to Everyday Health, “experts now believe that one of the best ways to age gracefully is to engage in a little social networking, both online and off. (1)”

Socialization actually has a proven impact on one’s mental health; actually, seniors who engage in social activity have a 70% lower rate of decline cognitively than peers who do not socialize. (1)

“As you get older, normal changes in your brain can make it more difficult for you to learn new information or remember things. In people who have dementia, this intellectual impairment becomes so severe that it interferes with their lives. Sometimes cognitive decline cannot be avoided, but in other cases, keeping your mind stimulated or interacting with your peers may help ward off dementia and depression, another common senior health concern. (1)”

So how do you keep seniors social despite assisted living, geriatrics care therapy and house calls? The first thing you can do is help them be intentional about maintaining close relationships. Schedule regular phone calls and visits with friends. If they do use technology, social media can be a great way for seniors in assisted living or home health care to stay connected to their friends. In addition, what are you or your loved one’s hobbies or interests? Try to find a club of peers in the area to join together weekly or monthly to do the activity together and develop relationships. Contact your local senior center for more information; they will be able to guide you. (1)

How do keep you or your loved one in home health, assisted living or geriatric care social?

1McCoy, K., MS (2013). How to Stay Socially Engaged as You Age. Everyday Health. Retrieved Jan. 27, 2015 from