Heavenly Care October News

October 8, 2023

The Importance of Family in the
Lives of Seniors


As seniors age, often the ones who are closest to them change. Maybe their friends have moved away to be closer to their grandchildren. Or their besties can’t get out and about anymore. Sadly as they age, many of their friends and close companions also start to pass away, leaving them lonely or depressed. Many times as they go about life, their interests or situations change, and the friends they once had aren’t as close anymore either. And as they get up there in age, it can often be harder to make new friends or even to be in situations where they can meet new friends. The one thing that doesn’t vary though is their family. Family is important throughout. Experts have shown how important family is for senior citizens, especially as they age. Many studies show that seniors with involved family members live longer than those without them.

A 2016 study published in the Washington Post says that it is in fact family, not friends, who help people to live longer. The study tracked senior citizens and their closest confidants. It showed that those with more family members who support them and love them were less likely to die. One of the study’s authors, James Iveniuk of the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, said he and his co-author were surprised by this.

“Because you can choose your friends, you might, therefore, expect that relationships with friends would be more important for mortality since you might be better able to customize your friend network to meet your specific needs,” he told the Washington Post. “But that account isn’t supported by the data. It is the people who in some sense you cannot choose, and who also have little choice about choosing you, who seem to provide the greatest benefit to longevity.”

Other studies have shown that having family members around and in a senior’s life can also help their mental health. It puts them in a better mood overall, because they know they have a family member who cares about them, who will advocate for them, and who will be there if needed.

Who does the day-to-day care for a senior didn’t matter in many of the studies. Whether they had a homecare worker helping them out 24/7, or their relatives did some of the caregiving as well, seniors were happier just knowing that they had family in their corner.

It is important for the health of seniors to continue to let them know they are important in your life. Make it a priority. Stay involved. See them as much as you can. Even if you can’t always be with them, there are ways to stay in touch. Seniors love to get hand-written letters in the mail. You also can call them, text them, or even Facetime them. If they don’t know how to Facetime or text, have them learn. Visiting Angels has a special social care service that can help seniors get online, email, and even Facetime. There is always a way for families to stay in the lives of their seniors.

Things to Celebrate

Caregiver Spotlight ~ October 2023
~ Kim M. ~
Kim has been an outstanding member of our agency for the past two years, serving as the cornerstone for her client since December of 2021. She brings a wealth of experience to every aspect of her caregiving. The family has consistently praised her exceptional skills and wonderful rapport with her father. Kim takes the initiative to find innovative ways to engage and keep her client active, whether it’s by taking him to his favorite places, participating in office events, or creating new opportunities at home. Her caring, compassionate, and professional approach exemplifies the qualities we seek in caregivers at Heavenly Care as we strive to provide the highest quality of service to our clients.

What Older Adults Need to Know During Flu Season

by ncoa.org
Early fall is the best time for older adults to get their flu vaccines to protect against the influenza virus, also known as the “flu.”

This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that adults 60 and older get the newly updated COVID vaccine and talk to their doctor about the respiratory syncytial respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine.

Both the latest flu vaccine and the RSV vaccine are available now. And so is an updated COVID vaccine approved by federal health officials in mid-September. Enter your ZIP code at vaccines.gov to find places near you offering flu and updated COVID vaccines.

The importance of flu shots for older adults

The single best way to reduce your risk from flu and possibly serious complications is to get the flu shot every year. Here are some flu facts to help explain why getting your vaccine is so important.

What is influenza or flu?

Are influenza (flu) and COVID-19 caused by the same virus? The answer is no. Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. The flu virus is different from the coronavirus, and two different vaccines are required for protection. Individuals who have had the COVID-19 vaccine or are planning to be vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely get the flu shot this year and every year.

Although they are caused by different viruses, there are some similarities between COVID-19 and flu.

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