Interaction with others is connected to mental health

It has long been known that interaction for seniors is a great way to stay mentally alert and to lengthen their life.  New research shows even more benefits when seniors stay socially active throughout their golden years. Caregivers at Gentle Shepherd Home Care in Colorado Springs have seen these benefits first-hand.  The in-home care provided by caregivers helps mitigate the possibility of patients from withdrawing and depression.

The importance of interaction for seniors

A 2019 study published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences detailed how seniors who interacted with people beyond their usual social circle, experienced higher levels of energy and physical activity, fewer negative times, and more positive feelings. During the course of the study, individuals who were more involved with others were much more active, and  because they actually had to make some kind of effort to engage with others outside their normal social circle. 

Alternately, seniors not involved with care or having any kind of senior living home care, tend to be more isolated from others. This led directly to being less active, more withdrawn, and having more negative feelings. Those who had little or no interaction with others tend to have higher blood pressure, more cardiovascular issues, and a greater incidence of arthritis. Insolation also has a strong correlation with increased risk of dementia, because individuals were not as mentally active as their more social counterparts.

The value of a companion sitter 

Companion care, a service offered by Gentle Shepherd, is a form of senior care in which the caregiver can be available to provide care, and to alert medical personnel if a patient is experiencing any unusual event. The valuable service provided by these caregivers is to talk with the senior and provide companionship, although they are no present for medical care. For patients who have difficulty understanding instructions or responding to them, a doctor might well recommend a companion sitter to provide needed assistance. 

Individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia would also be good candidates for having a companion sitter, because some of these seniors are at risk of harming themselves if left unsupervised. Whereas some hospitals and clinics could be very lonely for an elderly person, having a companion sitter right at home can help the patient stay active and engaged. Some of the tasks a sitter might assume would include running errands for the senior, light housework, playing games or watching TV with them, and providing respite for family members who would otherwise have to monitor the patient constantly
 
If you are looking for a companion for your senior loved one, contact us to learn more.