There have been many studies on the negative effects of social isolation. It’s been linked to a greater risk for high blood pressure, obesity, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. A new study now suggests that it could also make bones weaker.
Social Isolation and Bone Health
The study involved in excess of 11,000 women living in the United States. All of them were postmenopausal. To determine how social connection affected bone health, the researchers measured negative social interaction, which they called “social strain.”
The results of the study showed that women who had a higher measurement of social strain had more mineral loss in their hip and lower spine. The social strain scores of the women were between 4 and 20, with 20 being a more negative score. With every point higher on the scale a woman’s score was, they had a 0.11 percent greater loss of minerals in their hip and 0.07 percent less in their lower back.
How Home Care Can Keep Seniors Socially Connected
While this is only one observational study and doesn’t prove a cause and effect relationship between lack of social interaction and bone health, it does strengthen the existing research showing the importance of older adults remaining socially connected.
If your aging relative has been spending too much time sitting at home alone, home care can help them to stay connected to friends and family. Some ways home care can assist with maintaining social connections are:
-Offering Transportation: One of the barriers to spending time with others for many seniors is their inability to drive. Old age can make driving unsafe because of vision loss, physical disabilities, or cognitive problems. Home care providers can drive older adults to social activities, friends’ houses, and just to run errands where they have opportunities to talk to other people.
-Help with Hygiene: Not being able to keep themselves clean and groomed can keep some seniors from wanting to be around other people. Home care can assist them to bathe, do their hair, shave, and handle other grooming tasks.
-Entertaining at Home: Some elderly people don’t invite people to their homes because they have trouble keeping them clean or preparing refreshments for guests. Home care can help with light house cleaning tasks. They can also make snacks and beverages for the older adult to serve.
A home care provider is a point of social connection, too. They can be a friendly companion who visits regularly to offer conversation and friendship.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Claremont, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203
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