A social support system is defined as a network of people – family, friends and caretakers – where people can turn for help and assistance whenever they need physical or emotional help. Research has been conducted to explore the link between social relationships and aspects of health and wellness.

As people grow older, their social support system shrinks with time. This can be due to various reasons such as friends losing contact physically, busy lives, health issues or even passing away. Additionally, retirement and changes in lifestyle can also impact social interactions. This can lead to a shrunken social support system for the older generation which is again linked to depression, loneliness and increased risk of developing diseases.

Social support is not a cure for depression. However it can help ease or prevent it. having someone to talk, assist or run errands can be a mental boosts for someone who is spiraling into depression. Let’s discuss how social support can affect multiple health patterns in the older generation.

Emotional support

Having friends, family members, support groups or a community to share feelings can reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Emotional support provides a sense of belonging and validation which can in turn enhance mental health.

Physical Health

Social support can encourage healthy behaviors such as regular exercise, yoga, proper nutrition and adherence to medical routine. Friends or family can provide motivation and keep a lookout for maintaining a healthy lifestyle for older people.

Cognitive Health

Engaging in social and volunteer based activities, meaningful conversations can help stimulate the brain function while reducing the risk of mental decline, isolation or dementia.

Sense Of Purpose

Feeling valued and being seen as a member of a social group can give older adults a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which contributes to overall health and wellbeing.

Buffering Stress

Older generation is unlikely to take up tasks all on their own. Otherwise, fulfilling daily activities and required errands can drain them down. Social support and assistance can act as a buffer against the negative side effects of this stress. Social support groups can also provide for ready assistance to share their burden. Also knowing that there are people who care about you and are available to help during a rough time can reduce the impact of stress on both physical and mental health.

Faster Recovery

Social support groups help with overcoming the feeling of being isolated. Which is why, older adults with strong social groups tend to recover more quickly from illness. Emotional support and practical assistance from friends and family can facilitate the recovery process.

Conclusion

Social support is essential in maintaining the health and wellbeing of older adults by providing emotional, physical and cognitive help. Encouraging and fostering these connections can act as barriers against stress and improve quality of life.
Contact Exordium Networks at (972) 573-1180 for unmatched social support for older adults!

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