Seniors are more susceptible to social isolation than other age groups. Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Medicine studied a possible link between seniors who are lonely and the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. In a small survey of 79 seniors with an average age of 76, researchers found those participants with the most amyloid in their brains also reported being the loneliest.
However, researchers stressed in an article printed in The JAMA Network Journals on November 2nd, 2016, that the sampling size was so small that additional research was required. Scientists believe amyloid in the brain causes Alzheimer’s because a normal brain gets rid of this substance.
Regardless of whether the link between loneliness and Alzheimer’s is confirmed or not, seniors should be encouraged to stay active to boost their emotional and physical wellbeing. Lincoln senior care experts discuss how your loved one can remain socially active and reduce his or her risk of Alzheimer’s.
Joining Group Activities
Your loved one should be encouraged to stay active because this is an important aspect of his or her emotional wellbeing, and he or she can continue to remain productive in many ways. Looking for a group activity your loved one enjoys, such as golf or dancing, is a great way to start.
Volunteering in the Community
There are numerous organizations that accept senior volunteers. The Retired Senior Volunteer Program run by the federal government helps connect people over age 55 with positions in the local community. Under this program, your loved one can take on a variety of volunteering jobs such as teaching immigrants, fixing homes, and mentoring students.
Connecting with Family
Seniors need to connect with their families. Make sure you invite your loved one the next time you plan a family event. The event does not have to be something big. Your loved one will probably just enjoy spending time with family, even if he or she is unable to participate in some of the physical activities.
Spending Time with Other Seniors
There are many ways your loved one can connect with other seniors. The Area Agency on Aging has a list of available opportunities. Also, check the Yellow Pages for the closest senior citizen’s center. Alternatively, your loved one can look for other seniors in the neighborhood and go introduce him or herself.
Seniors do not have to be lonely as they grow older. However, they may need some help finding opportunities to connect with others in the community. Trained caregivers from Home Care Assistance, a leading agency in senior in-home care, can encourage your loved one to socialize regularly in the community and with other seniors. We provide live-in and hourly care Lincoln seniors and their families can count on, and our caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation, assist with bathing and grooming, and help with a variety of other important tasks. Call (402) 261-5158 to learn more about our flexible home care services, which can be customized to meet your loved one’s needs.