Prevent Isolation and Its Effects
As people grow older, their social support plays a significant role in overall health. Research has shown that spending time with friends, neighbors and family members can have many positive effects, enhancing seniors’ quality of life, physical health and mental health.
Seniors – particularly those with memory loss – may have fewer opportunities to socialize as they age. It may be that driving and/or getting out of the house has become more difficult, that their circle of friends has become smaller or their memory impairment interferes with participating in activities or events. Whatever the reason, it’s common for older adults to socialize less and less over time.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! A strong social support system – as found at Highpoint at Cape Coral – can help reduce stress, ward off anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of some physical health concerns. Particularly in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, interacting with other people in social situations has been shown to be beneficial for certain symptoms and may even slow the progress of these conditions. One study determined that cognitive abilities declined 70 percent more slowly in individuals who had frequent social connections when compared to those who had little social contact.
The National Institute on Aging has identified a strong correlation between social opportunities and greater health and wellbeing among seniors. We know that socialization supports brain health, and while the exact cognitive function is not yet completely understood, individuals with a strong social network generally retain more memories than peers who are more isolated.
We also know that feeling lonely or isolated can have a physical and emotional impact on older adults. Older adults who are chronically lonely are at greater risk for depression and often have elevated systolic blood pressure. In our memory care neighborhood at Highpoint, we combat isolation through structured activities, holistic wellness programming and frequent socialization. Our whole-person, whole-community philosophy, Masterful Moments®, focuses on enhancing the four components of successful aging: social, spiritual, intellectual and physical. Through purposeful, daily social opportunities at Highpoint, your loved one can remain as healthy and connected as possible in a supportive, family-like setting.