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Importance of In-Home Visits for Seniors

Posted by Brian Shevel on 26 November 2015

Home Care Assistance - Toronto/York Region (www.HomeCareAssistance-Toronto.com), the leading provider of non-medical, in-home senior care in the Greater Toronto Area, is weighing in on the positive effects of seniors receiving in-home visits as opposed to remote communication via technology.

In a research study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, more than 11,000 subjects over the age of 50 were studied over a six-year period spanning from 2004-2010. Different modes of interaction with friends and family were utilized including in-person meetings, emails, phone calls, and even handwritten letters. Observations were then made of any occurring symptoms of depression. The results showed that less than seven percent of participants who received in-home communication three times a week were at risk for depression. That number doubled for those who had infrequent contact only once every few months. (Source: "Why In-Person Visits Stave Off Depression Better Than Remote Communication," Home Care Assistance web site, October 21, 2015; http://homecareassistance.com/why-in-person-visits-stave-off-depression-better-than-remote-communication.)

"This is a solid study that proves a lot of what we already suspected," says Brian Shevel, president of Home Care Assistance - Toronto/York Region. "Seniors crave that physical presence and face-to-face interaction. It has a measurable impact on their mental health and well-being. Removing that interaction negatively affects their mood, which can lead to depressive states."

Depression affects approximately seven percent of seniors around the world. The exact number is thought to be even greater as depression often goes undiagnosed. Social interaction is considered crucial for the mental welfare of seniors.

"We can't really determine the exact percentage of seniors who are depressed, but I would go out on a limb and say it's definitely greater than seven percent," Shevel continues. "At Home Care Assistance - Toronto/York Region, we deal with seniors every day and so we know firsthand the role depression plays. We also know firsthand how important it is that seniors are engaged socially."

Shevel says family and friends need to maintain as much in-person contact as possible. He cites the study as showing just how powerful face-to-face interaction can be for the health and emotional well-being of seniors.

"That's essentially part of why we're here," he states. "An element of our mission at Home Care Assistance - Toronto/York Region is to be a voice and physical presence for seniors."

For more information about Home Care Assistance - Toronto/York Region and their services for seniors, visit their website at www.HomeCareAssistance-Toronto.com.

Brian ShevelAuthor: Brian Shevel
About: I was born in South Africa in a city called Bloemfontein. Went to Christian Brothers College (CBC) finished High school there. I went into business with my father we had a wholesale selling cloths and shoes to retail stores around the country. I was in the business till I left for Canada in 1993. Was a past president of Bnai Brith and served on many other committees. In Canada worked in the computer software industry selling construction software. I was always involved helping the elderly as my mother was very involved and I went along with her. Also looked after my father as he aged. Helped as a volunteer with seniors.
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