Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate: Dr. Cynthia Speaks! Topic: Social Connection and the Elderly

Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman
2 min readOct 16, 2023

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Social connection is a fundamental part of life. It’s how we feel attached to those around us. Connections can improve our health in many ways, but for our elderly loved ones, engaging them with others regularly endorses resilience, mental health calmness, and physical well-being and love.

Elderly loved ones have internal challenges of loneliness, often seen in facial expressions, hopelessness, and feelings of loss. It becomes more apparent as their siblings pass on before them. Engaging our elderly in numerous activities and exciting opportunities to keep their physical and cognitive abilities active is critical to social connection.

Isolation and loneliness can be detrimental to Golden Ager. Both concerns, as mentioned earlier, have been parallel with chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, decreased memory decline, and a greater risk for conditions like anxiety, depression, and suicide.

How You Can Help!

Look for social and family connections. Many aging family members love to talk about their past. Connect with them on their activities while in school or the work they used to do. Discuss hobbies, old boyfriends, girlfriends, and even their favorite travel spot. Connections can be as essential as sharing time and space with them. Loved ones who can still get around, perhaps walking together at a park or even a drive, offer outside connectivity with the world. As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, the key is engagement. Avoid isolation. Surround our loved ones with purposeful activities, story-telling, hobbies, travels, but most importantly, love and connection. Be safe! Be well!

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Dr. Cynthia J. Hickman

Dr. Hickman is the author of From the Lens of Daughter, Nurse, and Caregiver: A Journey of Duty and Honor and The Black Book of Important for Caregivers.