Family Involvement Important for Seniors’ Health
Wherever your elderly loved one happens to live, family involvement in their care can have positive effects. Many elderly people feel lonely or isolated and it’s important for them to maintain social contacts with friends and family. This helps relieve stress and make them feel better about themselves and the world.
Human beings are social animals, and whether it’s friends or close relatives, it’s important to have people to talk to. This helps the elderly person feel engaged with life, wanted, happier and healthier.
Family involvement in elderly care
Families can help with practical things like health care costs or transport. They can help around the house or care home and run errands.
More importantly, they can provide an unrivalled degree of emotional support. They can advise doctors and carers about experiences their loved one may have had, their hopes and fears. As we age, our friends may change but links with family usually remain more durable.
Family involvement in caring for elderly relatives may not always be possible. However, where it is possible there can be big health benefits for those being looked after.
Having a close relative to open your heart to can be enormously reassuring and comforting to an elderly person. There may be things that an elderly person in a nursing home would prefer not to discuss with staff.
But a family member who goes back a long way and better understands them can provide a personal touch. They can reminisce about the good old days or specific events. They can share family jokes which an outsider could not fathom. They can talk about wills, inheritance, family finances, medical costs, or other matters that may worry them.
Stress can make you prone to illness by weakening your immune system. Seniors are often already in poor health and adding stress to the mix can make matters worse. Family involvement in nursing or care can be a huge stress reliever for the elderly loved one.
Having a family member you can call on for support is a great relief for an elderly person. Knowing your family is out there and thinking of you, can improve your sense of well-being and contentment.
However, studies suggest that the same or similar effects can be achieved not only with close family. Elderly people may develop some very close friends, people they can confide in. Such close confidants can also be highly beneficial for overall health and wellbeing.
Why stay connected?
Elderly people would do well to prioritize staying in touch with family and friends. Here are some tips:
- Value your family and close friends and make efforts to reach out to them – you’ll feel better.
- Maintain social relations: It’s good for your communication and self-care skills.
- Socially engaged seniors are more likely to have fun and feel good about themselves.
- Studies suggest elderly people with close family ties have improved mental health.
- Staying socially connected can help dispel depression and anxiety.
- Socially active seniors may have better cognitive function for longer than isolated elderly people.
- Family involvement means elders are more likely to live longer than those who remain isolated.
Fairview Rehab & Nursing Home in Queens, New York, has lots of experience in caring for the elderly. It fully understands the importance of family involvement in the care of senior loved ones. At Fairview family members are encouraged to visit elderly relatives regularly, and at any time of the day or night. For further information contact us at Fairview.