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Advantages of Visiting an Aging Loved One with Dementia

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Seniors with dementia often become socially isolated as the disease progresses. However, social interaction is crucial, as regular interaction helps seniors maintain their cognitive health. Ahead, learn about the benefits of visiting seniors with dementia.

The Cognitive Benefits of Socialization

Research suggests spending time with friends and family members is good for the brain. When seniors find themselves in social situations, they have to listen, consider, and respond. While this cognitive process becomes more difficult as dementia progresses, social interaction nonetheless forces the brain to make these connections, which stimulates pathways in the brain that would otherwise remain dormant. Just as physical exercise strengthens muscles, this type of mental exercise strengthens neural connections, resulting in better cognitive health.

A professional dementia caregiver with training and expertise in methods of cognitive stimulation can also be a wonderful asset. Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Edmonton families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life.

The Physical Benefits of Socialization

Isolation doesn’t just take a toll on the mind. It also impacts physical wellbeing. Seniors who live in isolation are more likely to lead inactive lifestyles. When aging adults don’t get regular exercise, it can result in reduced bone and muscle mass and loss of mobility, which can impact their overall quality of life and put them at higher risk for injury. However, when seniors spend time with others, they tend to be more active and mobile. Social seniors don’t necessarily need to follow a specific exercise regimen, but regular interaction provides health benefits and social opportunities that support an active lifestyle.

The Connection Between Socialization and Mental Health

Seniors who spend too much time alone are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Dementia can exacerbate these conditions. As memory deteriorates, it impacts the way seniors perceive and interact with the world, leading to paranoia, anxiety, and/or aggression. When seniors are visited, it often gives them a temporary boost in mood. At the sight of a familiar or caring face, the brain often produces neurotransmitters that soothe anxious nerves and reduce negative feelings. The more frequently seniors receive visitors, the more often they’ll experience the restorative benefits of socialization. Over time, this can have a positive impact on their mental wellbeing. 

Mental and emotional challenges are common for many aging adults, but seniors don’t have to manage them alone. In Edmonton, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

The Importance of Self-Expression

As dementia worsens, communicating becomes more challenging. Eventually, seniors may not be able to communicate with words at all. At this point, they may try to speak through other means, ranging from nonverbal vocalizations to gestures. When seniors receive visits from friends, they benefit from the opportunity to communicate, even if they’re not able to do so verbally. When visitors give them their full attention and respond encouragingly, seniors feel heard and seen, which can boost their self-esteem and reduce the anxiety caused by communication breakdowns.

Regular visits from friends and family members can reassure and calm aging adults who have dementia. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Edmonton Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (780) 490-7337 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.