The health of your aging loved ones is always top of mind. That’s why you want your senior parents and relatives to have access to the best healthcare professionals in your community. It’s why you encourage them to eat a healthy diet and maintain an exercise routine if possible.
While first-rate healthcare, a proper diet and regular exercise are cornerstones of senior health, there’s another vital element that’s often overlooked: communication.
Seniors who are aging at home spend a great deal of each day alone. Although a little alone time now-and-then is good for all of us, too much of it can affect your aging loved one’s health.
Long periods without frequent interaction and communication with others can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression. And those feelings are detrimental to seniors’ overall well being.
Yet there’s a simple way to help your aging loved ones avoid those feelings of detachment and depression – and improve their quality of life: communicating with them.
How can communication improve your aging loved ones’ quality of life? Read on to find out!
Health Benefits of Communicating with Aging Loved Ones
Parents of young children often joke that they would do anything for a day by themselves. A day of peace and quiet that’s devoid of disruptions and dependency.
While that sounds wonderful on the surface, it’s not so enjoyable for seniors who spend most days in solitude.
Think about it. If your day was mostly spent inside, with no interaction or communication with family, friends or neighbors, following the same routine, wouldn’t you feel sad and lonely after a while?
If that was your day-after-day existence, you probably wouldn’t feel like getting out of bed. In your mind, there would be no reason to do so. Your body would start to atrophy, your mind would degenerate, and maybe after some time, you would feel like giving up.
That’s the sad reality for many seniors. However, that poor quality of life is easily elevated when they have opportunities to communicate with you, your family, their friends and even total strangers.
Communication helps give seniors a purpose in life. It not only encourages them to participate in their lives, it also demonstrates that they’re not alone. That you and others still care about them. Communication shows that you care about your aging loved ones enough to spend time speaking with them and listening to them.
Studies have shown that frequent communications reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness and isolation in seniors. Face-to-face and remote interactions with family, friends and neighbors also helps improve seniors’ cognitive abilities and mobility, lower blood pressure, and reduce the frequency of illness.
Plus, knowing that someone is listening to them helps seniors feel more respected, empowered and independent.
All of these benefits may also contribute to your senior loved ones’ increased longevity.
How to Communicate More Frequently with Your Aging Loved Ones
As you can see, communicating with your aging loved ones is beneficial to their overall quality of life.
So be sure to spend some time each week speaking with and listening to your senior family members. Pay them a visit on a weekend afternoon. Treat them to dinner on a random weeknight. Invite them to your home for movie/game night, a birthday party or just to sit outside on a nice day and catch up.
During those times when you can’t be there, pick up your phone and call. If they’re tech savvy, enjoy a video call with the whole family. Send cards for holidays and special occasions. Every little bit of communication goes a long way toward improving their quality of life.
And remember, if caring for your senior loved ones who live independently is difficult for you and your family, Keen Home Care can help you.
Our team of home health care professionals have the skills to supplement your caretaking needs for your aging parents or relatives. Best of all, of team’s visits provide your loved ones with additional opportunities to communicate with others.
If you’re interested in more about our home care services, please contact us today!