“Support from others can be important in reducing stress, increasing physical health and defeating psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.”
Lack of social support is related to negative impacts on health and well-being, especially for older people. Having a variety of positive social supports can contribute to psychological and physical wellness of elderly individuals. Support from others can be important in reducing stress, increasing physical health and defeating psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.
When considering who provides social support for an elderly individual our first thoughts are of family members. While it is true that most support does come from family members, there are many circumstances in which family members cannot be supportive (responsibilities, illness, financial problems.) In the United States, the fastest growing age group of individuals are those 85 years and older. Due to this fact, family support will inevitably decrease for these older individuals. A need for community-based services is more important now than ever before.
Social support for elderly persons can be found in many places, including senior centers, assisted living facilities, religious affiliations, adult day care centers, etc. Community-based services can provide positive social supports that can help older persons defeat loneliness and isolation. However, social support should encompass more than physical presence or conversations. Social support should also contain quality activities that promote positive self-awareness. Self-awareness is key to a person’s overall quality of life and satisfaction.
Adult Day Care Centers and Senior Centers help to provide an elderly individual the opportunity to participate in social support activities. Social support activities found in these programs can be beneficial to a person’s quality of life and overall satisfaction. With a higher self-awareness and quality of life an individual can reduce the risks of mental and physical health problems as they age.