There’s no denying the power of human touch, but having regular physical contact with other people offers particular benefits for seniors. Many older adults can go weeks without touching other people. Those who live alone often crave the hugs and pats on the shoulder so many younger people take for granted. Having more opportunities to receive touches from family members and caregivers can help your senior loved one in these amazing ways
Triggers the Release of Oxytocin
The primary reason touching is so beneficial is that the body releases hormones in response to cuddles and hugs. Oxytocin is a hormone that’s often discussed in relation to new parents and their babies, but it’s released all throughout life. This hormone is responsible for giving you that warm sense of happiness you get when you touch someone else. Seniors who have more of this hormone in their bodies are more relaxed and capable of handling stress.
A home caregiver can help your loved one develop a variety of strategies to handle stress. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Helps with Managing Grief & Loss
The loss of a spouse or best friend often means the end of regular touches for seniors. Being emotionally bereft is made more difficult when an elderly person is also starved for physical affection. It might not seem like much to you at the time, but giving your loved one hugs during your visits goes a long way toward helping him or her maintain a sense of connection to others.
Relieves Chronic Pain
Aging adults often wake up with pain that gets worse throughout the day. Although you want to be careful when you massage your loved one, gently manipulating your parent’s sore muscles and ligaments can loosen them up. If you’re nervous about doing a massage yourself, ask a caregiver who is familiar with seniors to help out. Your loved one may even enjoy being able to move throughout the house with greater comfort.
Increases Blood Flow to the Extremities
Certain health conditions limit blood flow throughout the entire body. Older adults with diabetes and limited mobility may need help stimulating circulation. A gentle foot or hand massage is a great way to get more blood flowing to your loved one’s fingers and toes.
If your loved one is living with health conditions that make it challenging to age in place, consider hiring a home caregiver. Clearwater home care service experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Promotes a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep problems increase in the senior years, and the power of touch can help your loved one get better rest. Getting a simple hug or a soothing massage before going to bed helps the body release more of those relaxing hormones right when they’re needed most. Touching also relieves anxiety that sometimes gets worse at bedtime for seniors.
Overcomes Communication Challenges
Many senior health conditions affect the ability to communicate clearly. Caressing your loved one’s hand after he or she has had a stroke lets him or her know you care. Touching can also be used to soothe a senior with dementia who may not understand a verbal explanation of a situation. When it comes to showing love, touching still carries meaning when your loved one might not understand your words.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Clearwater, FL, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call (727) 330-7862 today