Why Are Close Friendships Vital for the Elderly?

By Lutgarda Mariano, 9:00 am on

Bonds of friendship are often formed when we are young, and many of these bonds continue to stay strong well into the golden years. Victoria elder care professionals discuss why it’s important for your senior loved one to stay socially active, whether it’s through maintaining longstanding friendships or building brand new relationships.

Why Do Seniors Become Socially Isolated?

Older adults who retire or move in with their families may have fewer opportunities to engage with other seniors. Limited mobility and various other health conditions can make it difficult to get out of the house to meet friends or take part in activities. By finding new opportunities to socialize with others, your loved one can enhance his or her physical and emotional wellbeing, maintain cognitive function, and even increase his or her lifespan. 

What Are the Risks of Social Isolation?

Older adults without strong friendships are likely to be less physically active, which can lead to obesity and a variety of other health concerns, posing a greater risk of death. Social isolation may also contribute to depression, which can result in self-destructive behaviors like smoking and alcohol abuse.

What Are the Benefits of Being Social?

Seniors who maintain close friendships and engage with others socially often gain a number of health benefits over those who are socially withdrawn. Some of these benefits include reduced risks of:

  • Certain cancers, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety, depression, and other emotional health issues

How Can Seniors Build and Maintain Friendships?

You can help your loved one maintain longstanding friendships by encouraging him or her to call, write, or email friends who live far away. He or she can also build new friendships by trying new activities like:

  • Volunteering for a community organization
  • Visiting a local senior center
  • Signing up for an exercise class designed for seniors
  • Joining a book club
  • Taking a class to learn a new skill or hobby

If your loved one needs a trusted friend who can help him or her maintain a high quality of life, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers make wonderful companions, and we provide a complimentary matching service to find a caregiver who shares common interests and personality traits with your loved one, giving them a greater chance of bonding. We also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care Victoria seniors can count on. For more information and to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager, call (250) 592-4881 today.

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