Social connections are vital to good physical and mental health. The importance of socializing and making connections with others should not be underestimated.
During the pandemic, many older adults were lonely and isolated. There is no question that technology helped minimize some of these social issues. Facebook, Zoom, and other online forums created opportunities for people to connect and engage with family and friends. However, the lack of in-person interactions still had a detrimental impact on the emotional well-being of many older adults.
According to NIH studies show that “everyone needs social connections to survive and thrive. But as people age, they often find themselves spending more time alone. Being alone may leave older adults more vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation, which can affect their health and well-being. Studies show that loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher risks for health problems such as heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline.
As home health care experts, we are here to help older adults and their families avoid the impact of loneliness and isolation. Here are a few suggestions:
- Each week make time to visit a loved one (in person). Bring your family with you. If pets are permitted, bring them along.
- When visiting a loved one plan a fun activity, take a walk, enjoy cookies and tea or engage in a hobby of their interest. Reading stories and playing games also can be good cognitive exercises.
- While visiting, teach your loved one how to join a Zoom call and plan for virtual visits with family and friends.
- Call older adults regularly and encourage them to call you.
- Encourage your loved ones to participate in activities at their senior center or place of worship.
We can help! A caregiver can provide companionship so that your loved one has the support they need on a regular basis. In addition, they can assist with other daily needs.
CarePlus Home Health provides compassionate home care with experienced and trustworthy caregivers. Our caregivers are licensed and certified by the Maryland Board of Nursing. Call us at (301) 740-8870 for a consultation. We serve the Gaithersburg, MD, and Montgomery County, MD areas.