In the senior years, there are few things more precious than a trusted friend. Whether that friend has been a lifelong social partner or is a recent addition to your senior loved one’s life, the interactions they have can have a significant impact on your loved one’s wellbeing. Perth hourly care experts discuss some of the health benefits your loved one can gain from having close friends.
1. Lower Stress Levels
Feeling lonely is not healthy for seniors because it can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress. When your loved one becomes stressed, his or her body produces more of the hormone cortisol, which can lead to increased blood pressure and hormonal imbalances. Too much stress can also cause exhaustion and physical pain. However, maintaining close friendships can give your loved one something to look forward to. Speaking with friends on a daily basis or having outings and gatherings with them a few days a week can reduce the ache of loneliness your loved one feels, preventing or lowering stress as a result.
2. Prevent Dementia
Close friendships provide your loved one with mental exercise. His or her brain remains active when speaking with friends or engaging in activities. Your loved one will need to think of ways to respond to friends when having a conversation, or what to do when participating in a game or activity. Encourage your loved one and his or her friends to participate in activities that stimulate the brain, such as board games, puzzles, using the Internet, or reading. This can help prevent dementia or slow the progression of the disease.
3. Facilitate Recovery
Having close friends around after an illness, accident, injury, or surgical procedure can aid your loved one’s recovery. The presence of friends can provide your loved one with immediate mood boosters, also known as endorphins. As these “feel-good” chemicals move through the body, your loved one’s mood can be positively affected and his or her spirits lifted, helping speed up the recovery time. If your loved one has been diagnosed with an illness, having close friends around to talk to or lean on can help ease the impact of the bad news.
4. Make Better Lifestyle Choices
If your loved one has someone to garden, walk through the neighborhood, or go to an exercising class with, he or she is more likely to remain physically active. Your loved one is likely to follow a healthy diet if he or she has friends on the same diet because this gives them a goal to reach together instead of having to diet alone. They can meet a few times during the week to discuss what they have eaten, how much exercise they have completed, and any bad habits they have quit. The anticipation of these outings can make it easier to maintain healthy lifestyle choices.
Without a trusted friend, it can be more difficult to face life’s challenges in the golden years. If your loved one needs regular companionship, turn to Perth Home Care Assistance. Our hourly and live-in caregivers are available to provide emotional support and social stimulation, assist with meal prep and exercise, and help with a wide array of other tasks. For more information on the in-home care Perth families trust, call one of our friendly Care Managers at [hca_phone] today.