The Importance of Companionship in the Life of Seniors

Socialization is very important for everybody regardless of their age but studies have shown that there is a very important link between social interaction and the health of seniors. A large portion of a senior’s life, whether it is raising a family or earning a living, is spent in the company of others and in social interactions. As one ages, retirement sets in making a senior more home bound and that leaves fewer opportunities for socializing. Companionship plays a pivotal role in a person’s mental and physical health as one grows older.

Loneliness affects mobility. Loss of motor function is a common consequence of aging and causes adverse health consequences. Among community-dwelling older persons, feeling alone and being alone causes a more rapid further motor decline. The risk of Alzheimer’s Disease also increases in lonely elderly individuals. Loneliness is also associated with depressive symptoms in seniors.

Being involved in groups or activities at local senior centers can help seniors make new friends with similar interests and makes them feel a part of a community. This helps create a sense of belonging and feeling connected with their peers.

Seniors who are engaged in social activities are generally healthier as being social makes them feel positive, reduces stress and keeps the body healthier for longer.

The risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is also lowered in socially active seniors than the ones who are isolated.

Companionship also helps to keep the mind sharp and reduces the incidence of cognitive decline.

Just as for growing children to develop cognitively and emotionally there is a need for physical touch and interaction. Similarly, as people age, they are susceptible to fears of isolation and suffer from loneliness when they are unable to interact with others. If children leave the house or are unable to spend time with their aging parents, these fears are further intensified. Having a home caregiver can give your aging loved one help resolve these fears and they can thrive physically as well as mentally.

An in-home caregiver can provide companionship and stimulate conversation. Seniors love to reminisce about their past and having a companion makes sharing their stories even more enjoyable. The caregivers can help seniors participate in recreational activities such as playing games and watching movies. They can help seniors maintain family scrapbooks and arrange recipes. They can aid seniors in reading. They can encourage mental awareness by discussing current events.

The caregivers at NHHC ensure that seniors pursue their personal interests such as music, gardening, etc. They offer support and encouragement to help the seniors rediscover their passions and interests and give them a sense of enthusiasm each day. After reviewing local calendars and events, the caregivers plan trips, visits and group activities. They maintain calendars and birthday reminders and find every opportunity to re-engage their interest with outings with friends and events for social engagement and interaction.

Companionship helps seniors stay mentally healthy and alert by engaging in conversation and by assisting & encouraging them to be as physically active as possible. It has a valuable social benefit as it decreases isolation and helps to reduce depression from being alone.