A study that spanned three decades revealed the importance and impact of family and friends on health. The study, which came out in July, was recently featured in The Los Angeles Times. The study pertains to elder care in that it reflects the importance of having family members and loved ones around as we age, which in turn benefits our overall health. The study found that people who had a decent amount of relationships were 50% less likely to die during the periods under study compared to those with few social support systems. Those who had few social networks had a mortality risk higher than people with obesity or physical inactivity.
These findings were found in men and women regardless of pre- existing conditions. The people that were more socially connected lived an average of 3.7 years longer than those who were not as connected. This concept has been tested in other studies as well, including one where those that were infected with a cold virus were less likely to develop symptoms if they had more social networks.
When polled, 90% of seniors said that would like to stay in their homes as they age. With help from a caregiver, one is able to maintain social ties with friends and the community. And according to this study, that will increase their quality of life as well as the length.