Helping Older Adults Stay Sharp

As caregivers, we are always in search of ways to help slow mental decline and help increase the quality of our loved ones' lives. One factor that is often overlooked is socialization and activity. Socialization, an Essential Component of Successful Aging Social interaction has been shown to help boost recovery, bolster immunity, stave off stress and depression and keep the mind sharp.

According to the MacArthur Foundation's 10-year "Study of Aging in America," older adults who have a great deal of social support are healthier, on average, than those who lack support. The more older people participate in social relationships, the better their overall health. The MacArthur study's corollary finding indicates that isolation of the elderly can be a powerful risk factor for poor health. The study concluded that socialization and interaction with others has "direct positive effects on (the) health" of older adults. This finding opposes conventional wisdom that suggests older adults should remain in their own homes as long as possible- even if that requires home help.

Assisted Living Provides a Unique Solution to Loneliness and lack of Social Stimulation Depression and stress due to personal loss and physical problems can make it difficult for older adults living alone to have much social contact, yet the aforementioned study strongly indicates the imponance of social interaction and the role it can play in alleviating stress and depression. Research suggests that within 20 years, 13.3 million older adults will live alone. That means that 13.3 million people may miss out on the benefits of an engaged, active lifestyle. Assisted living can make the difference by providing the extra daily help some older adults need, while also facilitating the imponant component of social interaction.  One in a series of informational fact sheets brought to you by Senior Lifestyle Corporation