Care facilities play a crucial role in maintaining the wellbeing of their residents. Both their physical and psychological health are in the hands of staff caregivers who devote themselves to ensuring their patients get the best care possible. They monitor medication schedules, response to therapy, physical activity levels, and general health. With so much to focus on, there is often little time or energy to spend on interacting socially with the people they care for. How important is this? Short answer: very!
The Importance of Social Interaction
Social interaction is necessary for human health at every stage of life.1 Research shows that social relationships have short- and long-term effects on health that begin in childhood and continue throughout our lives.2 Social isolation of otherwise healthy people can eventually result in psychological and physical disintegration, and sometimes even lead to death.3
Connecting with other people helps relieve harmful stress that can negatively affect coronary arteries, insulin regulation, gut function, and the immune system.3 Direct face-to-face personal contact triggers the release of a cascade of neurotransmitters that regulate stress and anxiety.4 Social support such as offering help and expressions of affection provide life-enhancing effects.3 One of the most encouraging aspects of these findings is that it provides care facilities with an easy and inexpensive strategy for helping their residents.
Families, Friends, Facilities
Sadly, too often restraints on time and finances prohibit family members and friends from frequent visits their loved ones who are in healthcare facilities, and that puts an additional burden on staff that is already working hard to meet the needs of the residents. Fortunately, there is now another option.
SitByCare is a service that provides on-demand health companionship. This health sitting platform matches patients and companion seekers with health sitters in their local community, so that no patients have to live with loneliness.
If you think the residents in your facility or their loved ones could benefit from this service—or if you know someone who is in need of a sitter or is interested in becoming one—contact SitByCare now to learn more.
1. Why Being Social Is Good for You. Counseling and Psychology, South University. May 1, 2018. Available online at https://www.southuniversity.edu/news-and-blogs/2018/05/why-being-social-is-good-for-you.
2. Umberson D, Montez JK. Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Polilcy. J Health Soc Behav, 2010: 51(suppl): S54-S66. Available online at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022146510383501.
3. The Health Benefits of Strong Relationships. Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Women’s Health Watch, Aug. 6, 2019. Available online at https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/the-health-benefits-of-strong-relationships.
4. What Are the Health Benefits of Being Social? Face-to-Face Contact Is Like a Vaccine. Medical News Today. Available online at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321019#Face-to-face-contact-is-like-a-vaccine.