National Cheer Up the Lonely Day falls on July 11th. The day was started by a Detroit man who made it a point of cheering up people in nursing homes or in their own home. He chose his birthday to take time to visit lonely shut-ins who didn’t have friends or family to check in on them.
On National Cheer Up the Lonely Day, you don’t have to do much. You could stop by an elderly person’s house and prepare an afternoon tea. Call someone on the phone for a chat. Take someone out for dinner. It’s up to you. Just make sure you’re taking time to socialize with a senior citizen.
The Importance of Socialization
A health professional from Drexel University School of Public Health looked at a survey more than 13,000 men and women in Pennsylvania filled out. Those who were in more social neighborhoods had better mobility. Adults were more likely to go for important health screenings and get diagnosed and treated earlier if there was a health concern.
At Chicago’s Rush Alzheimer’s Center, the cognitive skills of more than 1,100 senior citizens were studied. Those who remained socially active performed better on cognitive tests. Those who were not social had a faster decline than those who remained social.
Elders are prone to depression. According to Mental Health America, about two million men and women over the age of 64 suffer from depression. The reasons vary. It could be the death of a spouse or partner, development of a chronic health condition, or lack of socialization.
Doctors don’t always notice the signs of depression during an annual health exam. You should pay attention to the signs and notify a doctor if you suspect your mom or dad is depressed. Key symptoms include long-lasting sadness, difficulty sleeping, not wanting to get out of bed, lack of desire in going out or seeing others, and sudden change in appetite.
Rely on Elder Care Services for Socialization
Socialization is something that families should think about often. It can be hard to spend a lot of time with an aging parent when you are raising children or holding a full-time job. When you can’t be there, caregivers can. Caregivers can take your mom shopping, play Scrabble with your dad, or help with housework.
Elder care providers are also helpful when your parent struggles with daily activities of living. A caregiver can remind your dad to take his medications and help your mom get dressed. Call our elder care agency to learn more about companionship and other aspects of elder care that will benefit your parents.