Social Groups for Seniors | Amazing Home Care

Social Groups for Seniors: Preventing Isolation in Seniors

Discover how social groups for seniors can improve the physical and mental health of the older population. Learn more at Amazing Home Care today!

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A trio of seniors enjoy a social event – Amazing Home Care

Elderly adults have an increased risk of loneliness due to living alone, losing family and friends, and experiencing hearing loss or chronic illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that social isolation impacts almost 25% of senior adults aged 65 and older.

Isolation and loneliness have a profound effect on physical and mental health, as well as overall quality of life. That’s why Amazing Home Care pushes initiatives to counteract isolation, such as encouraging participation in social groups for seniors.

The Risks of Isolation in the Elderly

About 34% of adults aged 50 to 80 experience feelings of isolation. Although social isolation and loneliness are not the same thing, one can lead to the other to create a downward spiral that can seriously affect physical and mental health.

When it comes to wellness risks, social isolation is on a level with obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking. Isolation in seniors is responsible for a 32% increased risk of a stroke and a 29% increased risk of heart disease. Among heart patients specifically, the risks of isolation and loneliness are substantial:

  • Emergency room visits: 57% increase
  • Hospitalization: 68% increase
  • Early death: Nearly 400% increase

The cognitive and psychological effects of social isolation in seniors are also significant. The risk of dementia increases by 50%, and loneliness causes higher rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide.

Furthermore, the physical and mental effects of isolation may be even more prevalent among older immigrants, minorities, and LGBT populations, according to the CDC. These groups often experience a lack of social ties, discrimination, and healthcare barriers, which can affect the number and quality of interpersonal connections. Victims of elder abuse may also experience higher rates of isolation if their abusers limit access to social situations or promise retaliation for reaching out for help.

The effects of isolation and loneliness among senior adults can be life-threatening. One way to combat the risks is to prevent isolation by encouraging participation in social groups for seniors.

The Power of Social Groups in Combating Isolation

If you are starting to notice the warning signs of problematic isolation — withdrawal, mood swings, or changes in eating and sleeping habits — rest assured that there are solutions for your elderly loved one. Although it may be difficult at first to encourage them to engage in structured social activities, the benefits outweigh any potential struggle.

Reduced Risk of Mental Health Issues

Participating in social groups improves mood, memory, and cognition, leading to a significant reduction in depression and anxiety in elderly people. Often, socialization also facilitates healthy behaviors, such as exercise or eating better, that contribute to psychological health by making seniors feel good about themselves.

Increased Physical Activity

The simple act of leaving home to visit friends or do an activity is already building healthier physical habits, reducing the risks of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis

In a study of more than 14,000 adults, researchers found that residential areas with high levels of social capital scored particularly high in the physical mobility category, as reported by the Greater Good Science Center.

Enhanced Cognitive Function

Engaging in social groups with like-minded people increases brain activity in multiple neural regions, and can protect against atrophy and improve cognitive health. A five-year study demonstrated that older adults with extensive social networks experience 39% less cognitive decline and 50% less memory decline than others with limited social engagement, according to the Mather Group.

Improved Emotional Support

Senior adults often experience a sense of belonging, acceptance, and mutual advocacy in their social groups. Group activities provide a strong emotional support network, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Routine and a Sense of Purpose

Social groups give seniors something to look forward to and make them feel valued and a part of the community. Regular meetings help establish a routine and give structure to their day. Plus, seniors who regularly participate in community-based groups report higher levels of happiness and purpose, according to the Greater Good Science Center.

Beneficial Social Groups for Seniors

When seniors join social groups, they experience community and belonging in structured activities with regular outside interaction.

Here are some examples of social groups for seniors:

  • Hobby-based groups
  • Exercise groups
  • Educational groups
  • Social and cultural groups
  • Volunteer and service groups

Social groups also give senior adults access to valuable resources and information, plus emotional support from their peers or friends.

Amazing Home Care’s Role in Facilitating Social Groups

At Amazing Home Care, we take the initiative to prevent isolation by encouraging seniors to take part in our programs and activities:

  • Regularly scheduled events that include tea parties, game nights, and holiday celebrations
  • Interest and hobby clubs such as gardening groups, knitting circles, and technology workshops
  • Exercise groups like yoga and walking clubs

We have a diverse offering of social groups for seniors to make sure that there is something for everyone. We can also build additional social clubs for a variety of interests and preferences.

Many groups and clubs meet regularly, and they can often send out reminder texts and emails to make sure your loved one remembers the dates and times. Furthermore, we always make sure that the meeting locations are accessible for those with mobility concerns.

How To Get Involved

An in-home caregiver can be a huge help when it comes to seniors getting out and about. They provide encouragement and may be able to help coordinate transportation to and from social groups for seniors.

Enrolling in Amazing Home Care services is a simple process that begins with a phone call or filling out an online referral. While we’re performing individual and home assessments, our staff will complete the paperwork, such as physician referrals and insurance submissions.

Once your loved one is a part of our network, their caregiver can help them find and sign up for clubs and groups with shared interests. Local and national organizations also sponsor outreach programs where you and other family members can participate alongside:

  • AmeriCorps Seniors Retired and Senior Volunteer Program: Connects adults 55 and older with volunteer opportunities in New York City
  • Programs by the Administration on Community Living: Helps older adults live independently in their homes and communities
  • engAGED: Encourages social engagement among older adults and their caregivers
  • Elder Abuse Education and Outreach Program: Educates seniors and caregivers on the risks and prevention of elder abuse

You can also find senior outreach programs by contacting local community centers, libraries, religious organizations, and state and local government websites.

Final Thoughts

Active participation in social groups for seniors is one of the best ways to combat isolation and loneliness and keep your loved one healthy and happy. We provide comprehensive care that includes vibrant community engagement geared specifically for older adults. Contact Amazing Home Care for more information about our services or to start the enrollment process.