Humans are social beings, as highlighted in John Donne’s famous phrase ‘No man is an island’. The importance of maintaining an active social life throughout life’s stages is no revelation. However, with age, life circumstances may push us toward loneliness and isolation as family members grow busy and friends experience the same conditions, our social life might gradually diminish. But this doesn’t lessen the necessity and need for socialising.
Yet human need for companionship should not be affected by age. At CareMalta, we encourage and provide opportunities for active socialisation. Here are a few ways socialising benefits seniors.
1. Enhanced Mental Health
Research shows that social isolation experienced among the elderly can lead to a poorer quality of life, not to mention depression and physical health risks. Being around others and socialising helps us keep a positive outlook on life, and beats feelings of worthlessness and loneliness.
2. Better Self-Esteem
The more seniors partake in social activities and feel like they contribute to their community, the better their self-esteem. Positive interaction helps us feel happy and boosts our self-confidence.
3. Increased Cognitive Function
Keeping the mind sharp is essential for our cognitive health, more so as we age. Brain stimulation might be as simple as having regular conversations or taking part in group activities, as we continue learning and responding to the world around us through socialisation. Conversation and humour are great for exercising the mind and can potentially lower the risk of diseases such as dementia, including one of which is Alzheimer’s.
4. Sense of Belonging
Humans have a desire to belong, and this desire may be intensified among seniors who may have lost a loved one. Socialising helps create lasting bonds and cultivates new friendships. Being in the company of others who have similar personalities or with whom we share common interests gives us a sense of belonging and self-worth.
5. Staying Groomed
Socialisation also gives us a reason to stay groomed and make more of an effort than we would if we stayed at home alone. As petty as this may sound, we should not underestimate the importance of not letting go of oneself.
6. Improved Physical Health
This is a perfect example of how mental health and physical health are in fact, interconnected. When we are around people we love, doing things we enjoy, health-promoting hormones are released which – among many other benefits – boost the immune system. Furthermore, socialising promotes an active lifestyle, which indirectly improves physical health.
7. A Sense of Purpose & Meaning
Having a reason to get out of bed and having something to look forward to, such as meeting others gives many seniors a sense of purpose, which is a fundamental component to leading a fulfilling life.
These are a few reasons why CareMalta Group– market leader in providing quality services in nursing and residential care and specialised dementia care – promotes social interaction between our staff members and other residents in a safe, comfortable, home-like environment in a choice of 8 facilities across Malta.