The Importance of Touch for Seniors
Scientists have long recognized the importance of touch to human well being. It is a vital part of development in infants – and it remains a need throughout their entire life. Deprivation of physical touch has been shown to have a detrimental effect on the immune system, as well as a senior’s physical, emotional and social health.
Touch Boosts the Immune System
Massage has been proven to increase the natural killer (NK) cells, which are the frontline of the immune system. NK cells combat germs and foreign cells, such as cancer. Touch is believed to reduce cortisol, a hormone the body produces under stress. Cortisol weakens and reduces NK cells in the body. So, by reducing cortisol, the NK cells can survive to fight invaders including viruses, bacteria and cancer cells.
Touch Improves Physical Health
When certain touch receptors are stimulated, such as through massage, the nervous system is activated and cortisol stress hormones are reduced. Reducing cortisol can reduce headaches, digestive troubles and heart disease. Massage and therapeutic touch is also shown to decrease the body’s sensitivity to pain.
Touch Benefits Emotional Health
Touch and massage have been shown to release serotonin, the body’s natural antidepressant. It also has been shown to reduce anxiety, sleep problems and improve memory and concentration.
Touch is Social
It may go without saying that one of the benefits of touch is connecting with another person. Seniors who have limited ability to interact with others may especially appreciate this powerful benefit of touch.
Elder Care can Help Seniors Incorporate More Touch into Their Lives
Many seniors have limited ability to spend time with others, especially people with whom they feel comfortable sharing touch. The culture in the United States doesn’t allow for a lot of casual touching, even among friends. However, many savvy seniors have figured out ways to appropriately and therapeutically incorporate more touch into their lives – and are undoubtedly reaping the benefits of doing so. Elder care services can be a big help in this regard.
The elder care aide can drive and assist the senior to appointments where touch is used frequently, such as massage appointments, manicures, pedicures, and even the hair salon. The elder care aide can assist a senior to bathe and then lotion their legs, feet and back afterward. Best of all, this creates an opportunity for quality time spent with the senior in their own home, sharing touch, contact and companionship with another human. The benefits can be profound.
Give our elder care agency a call with questions, or to find out how to schedule personal care assistance, companionship, or any combination of services from their robust service menu.
If you are considering Elder Care Services in Sandusky OH, please contact the caring staff at Med1Care. Located in Toledo and Findlay. Serving clients in all of northern Ohio including Bowling Green, Bryan, Bucyrus, Celina, Defiance, Findlay, Fremont, Kenton, Lima, Lorain, Mansfield, Marion, Mount Gilead, Napoleon, Norwalk, Ottawa, Paulding, Port Clinton, Sandusky, Tiffin, Toledo, Upper Sandusky, Van Wert, Wapakoneta, Wauseon and all nearby areas. Toledo 419.866.0555 | Findlay 419.422.0305