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Tag: socializing

The Importance of Social Connections for Seniors

While tranquility and retrospection are cherished in the golden years of life, one challenge often shadows many seniors: loneliness. As individuals age, they may experience changes in their social networks, such as the loss of friends and family members or a decrease in social activities. However, maintaining social connections is crucial for a senior’s mental, emotional, and physical health. This blog post will explore the importance of social connections for seniors and how they can positively impact their lives.

Disease Prevention

Loneliness doesn’t just weigh heavily on the soul; it has tangible impacts on physical health. Recent studies have linked chronic loneliness to a host of health issues, from heart disease to type 2 diabetes, and even depression and anxiety. Social connections, on the other hand, provide seniors with a sense of belonging and purpose. For instance, engaging in social activities and maintaining relationships can boost their self-esteem and mental health.

Related: Learn more about how to help seniors deal with depression here.

Sense of Belonging

Connections with loved ones not only enhance life’s quality and offer a feeling of security, but they also combat feelings of loneliness and isolation. It’s crucial for feeling integrated and socially connected. Yet, as time rolls on, relationships evolve. Individuals relocate, get wrapped up in careers and family, and soon we discern the value of having a handful of close friends over numerous acquaintances. For seniors, these social ties become even more vital in fostering a sense of belonging.

Related: Learn more about signs your aging parents need immediate help at home here.

Decrease the Risk of Abuse

Elder abuse is a widespread problem affecting seniors throughout the U.S. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), about one in 10 Americans aged 60 or older have suffered from some type of abuse. Those seniors who are isolated and lack strong social ties are most vulnerable and need protection. However, linking seniors with friends and family reduces their risk of all forms of abuse. Building social bonds not only helps prevent abuse but also increases the likelihood of seniors reporting any incidents.

Find Social Connection at Home Instead Senior Care

At Home Instead Senior Care, we understand the importance of social connections for seniors. Our team of compassionate caregivers provides personalized care that promotes social engagement and companionship. Whether your loved one needs assistance with daily activities, transportation to social events, or simply someone to share a conversation with, we are here to help. Contact us today at (910) 342-0455 or visit our website to learn more about how we can support your loved one’s social well-being.

How to Lower the Risk of Dementia

There is a list of general advice that emerges from reading about dementia prevention. Many know the drill: constant exercise, nutritional diet, and abstinence from smoking. But the specifics can get fuzzy; what does “constant” exercise look like? Is it a daily thing? Is it perhaps a weekly thing? Or maybe it’s even hourly. In addition, excusing laziness and not adhering to these rules becomes terribly easy in the hustle and bustle of life. And after a while, the effectiveness of those vague listicles fades. So below are some specific examples to help:

The ravages of dementia.


BETTER: Face your fears. Make new friends. And we can do it together.

What does “healing from depression” look like exactly? Is it taking antidepressants until one feels better? What about the side effects? And what about the side effects of those side effects? Thankfully, there is one suggestion that has stood the test of time: “Face your fears.” Of course, contextualization is important here. This doesn’t mean “Go endanger your own life by wrestling with the Nemean Lion”; it means getting out of one’s comfort zone and attempting some derring-do. What better way to snap out of a slump than to be exhilarated by surviving that ‘nightmare scenario’? So go strike up a conversation with that “unapproachable” neighbor. Go mingle with those nerds from that photography club. Be reconciled to that estranged family member. You’re in for a surprise! (Social isolation is not just linked to dementia and depression, but also chronic illness and early mortality.)


Better: Reduce the use of immobilizing devices.

High blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to the narrowing or bursting of blood vessels. And, it is this reduction of blood flow that is detrimental to the supply of oxygen and can, in turn, lead to the blockage or even death of brain cells. The affected person may experience trouble with communication, memory, or speech. Because obesity can increase blood pressure, it can also bring about vascular dementia (a type of dementia in which the patient has trouble making judgments, recalling things, and other mental activities).

So what is the guideline for combating obesity? Well, it would include a nutritional diet, of course. But it also means ditching sedentariness-encouraging devices like those hoverchairs in WALL-E that perform nearly every task for you. It means taking the stairs instead of the escalators, walking the bike instead of riding it, and sleeping right.


Better: Join our acapella group. Let’s listen to this physics-themed podcast together.

The assumption in that first bit—“do sudokus or suffer dementia”—is not only hackneyed but also has been debunked; doing crossword puzzles and sudokus had been thought to stop cognitive decline. While it may give a headstart of sorts, it apparently cannot actually deter deterioration.

But that does not mean keeping the mind active is unnecessary. Dissect that movie that has a convoluted plotline. Memorize that Shakespearean sonnet. But if film analysis and iambic pentameters are not one’s specialties, that is no problem at all. Music is another great way to achieve that same goal. In fact, because music enables the simultaneous use of various parts of the brain, it apparently prolongs the period for which even those with dementia can retain their linguistic skills.

“Knew it. Never touch the sudoku!”


Better: We can be your accountability partners. Call us whenever.

Although one of the most preventable causes of early death, cigarette or tobacco addiction is yet a stronghold in the lives of many. Smoking can lead to chromatic pulmonary diseases, asthma, coronary heart disease, strokes, lung cancers, and more. But, temptation can make one believe all sorts of lies; one can believe that a moment of fleeting pleasure is worth suffering all these things. And isolation only makes temptations easier to fall prey to.

One helpful way to quit smoking is to form an accountability group that is full of immovable members who are committed to being vulnerable in the presence of all. And don’t forget to celebrate all the victories over temptations along the way, of course.


Better: I made this fresh-squeezed fruit juice. Want some? It’s way better than booze.

Even better: I have a new recipe. These new berries and tuna salad are the bomb. I can cook these for you whenever. It helps lower your cholesterol.

This one is similar to #4. Accountability and unconditional love go a long way.


Better: Let’s do the floss dance. And then do some gardening.

Research shows that those who are frail are often more prone to falling prey to dementia. But not everyone is a natural gym rat. And even for the overachiever, exercising is an acquired taste. Imposing this way of life on those who are wheelchaired or have arthritis-ridden joints will not be easy. But with unconditional love and whispers of encouragement, many can conquer mountains. Exercise, when done right, not only lowers cortisol levels (often indicative of stress) but also releases endorphins (analgesic hormones).

Switching up a regimen or two can also make things more adventurous. Try cycling for a change instead of jogging along that same route. And perhaps for starters, aerobic activities such as gardening or dancing can suffice. Playing “The Floor Is Lava” with grandchildren may also be a fun switch of pace. After all, it’s like slow parkour!

“I shall deflect you, dementia!”

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