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Benefits of Maintaining Close Friendships in the Senior Years

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Having friends you can count on is important during all stages of life, but these close friendships are even more crucial for seniors because they offer a wide range of health benefits. Naples, FL, 24-hour care professionals want to share a few of those advantages with you and your elderly loved one.

Increase Life Expectancy

Maintaining close friendships can add years to your loved one’s life. Your loved one can get up each day ready to explore the neighborhood with his or her friends or try out new games and community events together. This desire to remain socially active can help your loved one live longer because these relationships give him or her an additional reason to survive and look forward to new adventures in life.

Stave Off Memory Loss

Contrary to what many people believe, memory loss is not an inevitable part of the aging process. The brain is fully capable of producing new cells at any age. However, your loved one will need to use those brain cells or lose them. Maintaining close friendships is one way your loved one can boost her brain. A simple conversation, a trip to the grocery store, or a fun outing with a friend leads to mental engagement, which keeps the brain sharp and decreases the risk of memory loss. 

Prevent Diabetes and Obesity 

Your loved one may not be as physically active as he or she once was, and a lack of exercise can lead to obesity and diabetes. Diabetes affects seniors more than any other age group, but having close friendships can help your loved one maintain a healthier weight. Without these relationships, your loved one may become isolated and seek comfort in fatty or sugary foods due to depression. If your loved one has a network of friends, he or she can reduce the risk of depression. Your loved one and his or her friends can also take walks around the park, join community aerobics classes for seniors, and perform other physical activities together. 

Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease 

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death among seniors. Loneliness can cause the arteries to harden, which leads to inflammation of the body, high blood pressure, and other issues that increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease. When your loved one is lonely, the stress hormone cortisol increases, which raises blood pressure levels, but having close friendships can keep your loved one social and reduce his or her stress and blood pressure.

Professional caregivers can also become close friends and trusted companions. At Home Care Assistance, we match a dedicated and compassionate caregiver with your loved one based on personality and common interests, which gives them a chance to bond and build a strong caregiver/client relationship. For more information on the senior -home care Naples, FL, families trust, call (239) 449-4701 to schedule a free in-home consultation.