In Canada, a lot of emphasis is put on the needs of seniors, but only in some areas. More attention needs to be put on the potential dangers that exist for seniors who are not involved enough in social activities.
The transition into the senior years can be difficult for some. They may not as yet have a full understanding of what changes old age has in store for them. They are in for a lot of experiences and these can range from good to bad.
There are some seniors who find that the physical changes that come with old age come upon them slowly. Others feel that big changes in this area of their lives take place rapidly. Which category the senior experiences will often depend on how physically active they were in their younger years. There are programs that have been designed specifically for seniors to help keep them more physically fit. The common physical changes that take place include:
- Bone and joint issues
- Chronic diseases
- Dental problems
- Digestive Disorders
And a whole host of other changes
Just as there are significant physical changes in the ageing body, the same applies to mental changes which can include:
- More cautious attitudes
- Mental disorders
As well as several others
The dangers that come for many seniors is that when they are socially active many of these changes that are taking place can set in much faster and be more severe. There are several reasons for this as social activities can have a positive effect both on a physical and mental level.
When seniors are more socially active it keeps their body moving. This can be good for some of the ageing aspects that affect their bones and joints. When they are being social they are usually out and about which causes them to move around. When they are just sitting at home the body tends to get stiff and the joints and muscles are not getting enough movement. The same applies to their digestive systems their lack of movement can cause the digestive system to slow down.
Being alone or being inactive can have a very negative effect on the mental status of a senior. Many are already frustrated with the changes that are taking place both physically and mentally. They tend to dwell upon these and it creates a sense of diminished self-worth. When they are socially active it takes their mind off of themselves. They also get to see that they can still be active and are able to socialize. It helps them to realize that they are not alone. That other seniors that they are socializing with have similar issues that they are dealing with.
It is the responsibility of the Canadian government to support not for profit programs for seniors. They need to have options for socialization. With an ageing population, this is something that has come to the attention of the officials and more programs are being implemented for seniors. Aside from the government communities throughout each province will have to accelerate their efforts to offer socialization opportunities for their seniors.
Family and friends can also participate by encouraging seniors to be more socially active. It is not enough for the seniors to be just taken care of when it comes to their needs. They need to be around others in their own age groups.