As we age, the importance of companionship and social support becomes surprisingly even more important for senior heart health. Seniors are at a higher risk of heart disease due to natural aging processes but did you know that loneliness and isolation can elevate this risk?
Strong connections and regular social interaction—whether that’s with family, friends, pets, volunteers or a professional caregiver—help enrich a senior’s life.
Here are some of the many ways companionship can improve heart health for seniors:
Loneliness can increase the risk of heart disease, and seniors are particularly vulnerable to feelings of loneliness. One study reported that being socially isolated was similar to well-established health risk factors such as alcoholism and obesity. Researchers have even gone on to say that isolation can cause as much damage as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Companionship provides emotional support, greatly reduces feelings of loneliness, isolation and stress, thereby improving overall wellbeing.
Improving Mental Health
Decline in mental health has been linked to increasing heart diseases for seniors. Communication and simply having someone to talk to is one activity that can provide numerous benefits to the brain and the heart. Seniors with good mental health have a lower risk of heart disease.
Encouraging Healthy Lifestyle
Having a companion can make it easier for seniors to adopt healthy habits such as exercise, healthy eating, and even maintaining a regular and healthy sleeping schedule. A companion can provide motivation, accountability and support to maintain these healthy habits to prevent the onset of heart disease.
Help with Daily Tasks
As we age, it can become difficult to perform daily tasks like grocery shopping, food prep and light cleaning. Having the security of a companion can help to lessen the stress of daily tasks and help them maintain their independence longer.
Having someone close to you who knows your habits and behavior can help in early detection of any symptoms of heart disease or other health issues.
If you or your loved one needs assistance to maintain an independent lifestyle, Spectrum Health Care is here to help you. You can benefit from the expertise of our experienced care givers with our Seniors for Seniors companions. Seniors for Seniors provides compassionate and supportive services that can help seniors feel connected and provide the necessary support to help empower you to live the way you want to.