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.