The Balanced Care MethodTM is based on extensive research of the centenarians of Okinawa, Japan, home to the world’s longest and healthiest lifespans. The Balanced Care Method, developed by Home Care Assistance, is unique because it focuses as much on quality of life as on longevity—emphasizing a healthy diet, physical exercise, socialization, mental exercise, and a purposeful lifestyle. Lets take a closer look at the importance of socialization for seniors.
Human beings are social creatures. We thrive on communication and touch, and begin to decline when we are isolated. Socialization is essential for all of us, from the moment we are born to the moment we die.
One of the primary challenges of aging is a sense of isolation and withdrawal, particularly when mobility issues or difficulty driving creates barriers to socialization. Our Balanced Care Method trained caregivers bring meaning and purpose to seniors’ lives by engaging them in their favorite topics, hobbies and activities. Home Care Assistance Prescott caregivers provide companionship and a natural partner for the activities seniors enjoy, allowing them to maintain their independence and quality of life.
Many studies have been done on the benefits of socialization for seniors. The AARP reported one that was conducted over the course of four years with 2,249 California women and found that older women who maintained large social networks reduced their risk of dementia by 26%.
In a nutshell, friends are good for us, on many levels. The conversations we have and the games we play stimulate our brains. The walks we take exercise our hearts. The laughs we have and the memories we share keep us well emotionally. To remain healthy is to maintain friendships as we age and to remember the old adage, “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.”
Socialization is just as important for you as a caregiver as it is for the senior loved one in your care. Maintaining a close network of family and friends can help you avoid the isolation caused by the demands and pressures of caregiving. Social isolation happens slowly over time as you focus more on rigorous caregiving schedules and less on getting out of the house. But the importance of human connection and outside interests for caregivers cannot be overstated. Isolation leads to depression, anxiety and caregiver burnout. Caring for a loved one is a rewarding, but taxing role, and only by remaining vital, healthy and energized can you have the stamina necessary to fulfill your commitment.
What do you do with the guilt? It’s the primary obstacle to caregivers getting much needed rest. You may wonder what your loved one will do if you are not there. Will they be upset? Who will know their routine? What will happen if they call out for you? These things may happen, but a well educated, experienced caregiver knows how to comfort and reassure your loved one. Investing in yourself is part of the caregiving proposition. Leaving the house for an hour or an evening is certainly better than becoming incapacitated by exhaustion or being absent for weeks.
As the number of seniors throughout North America continues to increase exponentially, so will the number of in-home caregivers. Let’s approach it with a philosophy that everyone in the equation needs care – the senior and the caregiver. By doing so, we ensure that we create a culture of sustained caring that promotes the health and well-being of everyone involved.
If you or an elderly loved one needs high-quality care and companionship, the team at Home Care Assistance of Prescott is here to help. Call 928-771-0105 today to speak with one of our friendly Client Care Managers.