Senior Socialization: Creating Senior Social Interactions & Relationships

Jan 21st, 2013 | By Guest Post | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Social Interaction for Healthy Senior Living

Friendships, companionship and interpersonal relationships are a human need at any age, especially for seniors who may not have the resources and health to leave home. As a caregiver, you may already feel the heavy responsibility of ensuring the health and wellbeing of your loved one. Your days may be consumed with Mountainside Medical Supplies, doctor appointments, medications, prescriptions and household chores.

Among other caregiving duties such as cooking and helping with hygienic activities, socializing your loved one is essential. For seniors, spending time with family and friends helps create happier and stress-free lives. According to a Gallup 2011 poll on WellBeing.com, U.S. seniors maintained happiness with social time, but keep in mind the amount of social time doesn’t have to be significant to create maintainable happiness. Americans who are 65-years-old and older only need about three hours a day of socialization to experience enjoyment and worry less. Between zero and three hours of socialization, happiness levels increase by 20 percent. The poll states that older Americans are just as likely to experience “a positive emotional state with three hours of social time as they are with seven or eight hours.” What this means for caregivers is that helping your loved one socialize for a few hours can make them happy.

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Incorporate socialization into your caregiving routine and your loved one’s life with any of the following ideas:

Schedule

Make a schedule with other family members for spending time with mom and dad. Daily visits from family members are ideal for seniors who prefer the comforts of home and experience stress during social outings. Avoid the perception this time is an obligation. Ask your loved one to share stories of their lives. Truly listening to past experiences and the wisdom of the elderly can be eye-awakening and provide life lessons. During this time you can also share pictures, read, listen to music, play games, knit or do a puzzle.

Move

Help move your loved one into a senior retirement or assisted living community. Senior homes and communities can not only provide your loved one with professional care, they’re places where other seniors live who have similar, social needs. Research communities that facilitate regular outings to movies and other fun destinations. Also, look for a community that encourages a social environment by coordinating events and activities that are intellectual, creative and active.

Adult Day Care

Engage your loved one in a senior or adult daycare centers. Even if you sign them up for just a few days a week, they can discover companionship and foster friendships. Adult day care centers typically provide transportation, assistance, nutritional meals, activities, outings and social interaction that dependent seniors need. Activities such as baking and art projects will give seniors that sense of accomplishment. Trips to the grocery store, shopping excursions and outings to special events and museums will also provide that sense of independence that your loved one misses. Elderly day care centers create environments that encourage the physical, intellectual and emotional wellbeing of seniors.

Suggest online meet-up groups, local social clubs and church activities for a loved one who has more independence and mobility.

Guest Post by Kurt Ramsey A counselor and art therapist for war veterans, Kurt loves helping patients find their potential amidst their difficulties.


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