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The Importance of Touch for Senior Citizens

By Jeff Hill, 5:51 pm on February 12, 2014

With age, many people focus on the physical needs of an individual and less on emotional needs. However, in order for seniors to obtain a sense of youthfulness and vitality, we find human interaction and touch to be at its core. As a provider of live-in care in Phoenix, our mission is to provide care that not only meets the physical needs of seniors, but their emotional needs as well. We promote a sense of independence, purpose and wellbeing for our senior clients, and wanted to explore the importance that touch has in promoting a higher quality of life.

Research and numerous studies show how premature infants can thrive and live a long and healthy life based on touch. It can also be an integral part of a child’s growth and development and how they handle every day experiences. Unfortunately with age and events such as the death of a spouse, divorce and distance can prevent a senior citizen from receiving this important sensory and nurturing interaction. Social stigmas are also often placed on seniors and older adults, making it seem that simple acts of touch and love are unnecessary to someone in their golden years. In fact, because seniors have had a lifetime of hugs and hand holding, the need to be touched is even more crucial than those who are younger.

The benefits of touch are numerous and can include stimulation of an elderly mind. Touch can also help decrease isolation and feelings of vulnerability. Simple acts of affection such as hand holding and hugging can also convey hope, trust and feelings of reassurance, especially during excessive bouts of loneliness. The benefits of touch are far reaching and can even help elderly patients lower their blood pressure and promote better sleep patterns.

When it comes to the power of touch, we’d also like to explore the effects it can have on seniors who suffer from advanced conditions. Studies report that individuals experiencing chronic pain such as those related to arthritis, agitated behaviors or dementia also benefited from some form of human touching. If you have an aging parent or loved one that has been diagnosed with dementia, learn more about comprehensive dementia care in Phoenix and see how a compassionate and professional dementia caregiver can help.

Human touch is an amazing form of communication that encourages the body to feel healthy, loved and nurtured no matter what age. If you have an aging parent or loved one that lives alone, and you are concerned about their health and safety, consider enlisting in the help of a home companion. In addition to assisting with activities of daily living, home companions can provide company and conversation to stimulate the mind and stave off negative feelings of isolation, boredom and depression.

To learn more about professional Phoenix home companions, contact a Home Care Assistance Care Manager at 602-388-1085. We offer complimentary in-home consultations and are more than happy to answer any of your questions.