Up until fairly recently, many senior care homes took a rather hands-off approach to their patients. While it may be difficult to imagine, residents were often left to fend for themselves and the notion of socialisation was far from the minds of staff members. The good news is that times have changed. The importance of interacting with others (sometimes known as “meaningful activities”) can have a dramatic impact upon one’s quality of life within a care facility. Let us examine why this is the case.
Promoting a Positive Emotional Balance
Humans are social creatures by their very nature. It is therefore quite understandable why we are afraid of being alone; especially during our later years. Those who remain isolated will often suffer from anxiety, depression and feelings of low self-worth. Furthermore, a lack of socialisation can also affect physical health. Individuals who are provided with the opportunity to congregate with others on a regular basis are therefore much less likely to suffer from the scenarios mentioned above. In other words, a positive mental state will impact every facet of one’s existence.
Stimulating Physical Health and Fitness
Having a bit of fun with others is also a great way to obtain exercise within rather informal settings. Believe it or not, those who classify themselves as “isolated” or “lonely” are at an increased risk of developing a host of debilitating conditions. A handful of examples include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
Studies have even found that those who are socially isolated may be up to 50 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Self-worth is yet another core facet of social interactions. We tend to gravitate towards those who make us feel good about ourselves. Therefore, it only stands to reason that individuals who are “cut off” from their peers are at a higher risk of feeling worthless or simply no longer essential. Care homes that are able to provide fun social activities will help to stave off such emotional responses.
Instilling a Sense of Purpose
Many senior citizens struggle to find a real purpose in their lives once they have
reached a specific age. This is known as “learned helplessness” and as you can imagine, the impacts can be quite severe. Being around others reminds individuals that their lives are still valuable and that they can provide their peers with similar feelings of accomplishment. Of course, the notion that we can make a difference is actually important at any age!
We can now clearly see that modern care facilities should be able to provide many types of social activities that are both fun and engaging for their residents. Eastleigh Care Homes in Devon is pleased to offer a host of options that our patients enjoy on a regular basis. Would you like to discover more about our approach to assisted living? If so, take a moment to contact us directly.