Socializing Is Good for Your Health – So Don’t Be Shy!

WomenTalkingStaying social can mean many things to many people. It could mean going out to dinner on a regular basis, joining clubs, taking classes, going to the gym, or gathering with friends at a coffee shop. For people who are more homebound, staying social could mean staying in contact with people through the Internet and by telephone. However you define staying social, it’s been proven that being socially active promotes healthier aging. For people who feel they aren’t able to participate in social activities alone, in-home care can help.

Staying Social Reduces Risk of Disability

A Rush University Medical Center study reported higher levels of social activity are associated with a decreased risk of becoming disabled. The results showed that people who reported a high level of social activity were about twice as likely to remain free of a disability involving activities of daily living (toileting, bathing, etc.) than people who weren’t as socially active. They were also about 1.5 times as likely to remain free of disability involving instrumental activities of daily living (meal preparation, housework, etc.) or mobility.

Quality of Life Is Better for Many with Greater Social Support

A study of more than 3,000 women with breast cancer that showed a connection between social support and physical symptoms was published in 2013 in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. The women completed questionnaires about their social activities and interactions, and their physical and emotional state during treatment. The results showed that women with good social support reported fewer physical symptoms during treatment and had better emotional quality of life than those women who said they had little or no social interactions.

Be Social and Live Longer

Being socially active can contribute to the increase in the quality and length of life.

  • Researchers in Australia followed senior citizens for 10 years. In people 70 years old and older, the risk of dying decreased by 20 percent when people had a strong network of friends. Having social interactions with friends provided a greater effect than interactions with family members.
  • University College London followed 6,500 British people over the age of 52 from 2004 to 2012.Those that lacked social interaction were 26 percent more likely to die during the period than those with active social lives.

The proof that staying social as we age leads to greater health outcomes is in the pudding! A-Abiding Care can provide home health care to help you get out of the house and take advantage of the social interactions available in your community. We can offer services such as a travel companion so you can visit family and friends (or go on a cruise!), as well as help by providing transportation to local activities throughout the greater Chicago area, or by keeping you company, playing cards, watching television, or providing quiet companionship. Contact us to arrange for an in-home care assessment to see how we can help you.

Sources:, Rush University Medical Center, U.S. News and World Report, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment Journal, The American Journal of Psychiatric Health, The Seattle Longitudinal Studies of adult intelligence, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Keeping a Loved One with Parkinson’s Safe: 5 Areas to Watch

Parkinson's CareWhen someone has Parkinson’s disease, there usually comes a time when in-home care becomes necessary. As movement becomes more difficult, everyday activities may seem impossible without the help of a caregiver.

Providing help for seniors with Parkinson’s disease can be a daily challenge, and most of the responsibilities fall not on a physician, but on the family members providing the care, often with the assistance of a caretaker trained in home care, like those at A-Abiding Care.

There are many issues to watch out for when caring for a senior with Parkinson’s disease, but there are five aspects of day-to-day life issues that are especially important:

  1. Nutrition: A well-balanced diet may help reduce cell loss in a person with Parkinson’s. Consuming antioxidants, like those found in blueberries, broccoli, spinach, green tea, beans, and certain nuts, may also help fight oxidative stress.
  2. Chewing/Swallowing: People with Parkinson’s often have difficulty chewing and swallowing food and drink. Anyone caring for a person with Parkinson’s should learn the Heimlich maneuver, in case the person begins to choke.
  3. Fall Prevention: Parkinson’s can affect walking and balance, so it is important to reduce the risk of falling by modifying the home environment where necessary. This may include installing customized toilet seats and grab bars where appropriate, and removing obstructions throughout the home such as doorsills and throw rugs.
  4. Anxiety and Depression: Combating depression and anxiety is a large part of the Parkinson’s battle. Watch your loved one closely for signs, and have him or her assessed by a physician or nurse practitioner as soon as possible.
  5. Medications: Medications for Parkinson’s can have multiple side effects and can affect a person in different ways. Some medications may cause hallucinations or nightmares, for example. Be sure your loved one’s physician tells you about all the expected side effects of medications so you know what to expect. You can also speak to the dispensing pharmacist, who should have all the medicines on record, to ensure that none will interact badly with any other.

At A-Abiding Care, we understand the needs of those with Parkinson’s and are here to help. Our home care for seniors can help take away some of the concerns about your loved one’s safety. Our specialized and assistance services can assist your loved one at home, in the hospital, or in an assisted living, nursing or retirement home in the Parkridge, Illinois area.

Call us at 847-698-1400, or email us to learn more.

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