Contact Is Key: How Staying Involved In Your Loved One’s Life Makes A Difference

By March 14, 2017 September 19th, 2017 Relationships

Rocky Mountain Care specializes in hospice care and nursing techniques designed specifically to make the patient’s experience as enjoyable as possible. Human beings need to feel care throughout their lives, and this feeling of being cared for and being loved is at the heart of what it means to be human. It revolves around something known as the human connection. This “human connection” is something that exists at our core and persists throughout our lifetime. Human connection is especially important during hard times, such as dealing with a serious illness. At times like these, contact with your loved ones is key, and can make a large impact in their quality of care.

A study done in 2013 revealed the true nature of social connections and the important role that they play in our lives. Neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman suggested that the part of our brain dealing in social interaction (the prefrontal cortex), though crucial to everyday function, is often neglected in our society. We tend to praise a type of thinking that is more analytical and self-serving called “social” and “group thinking.” Lieberman’s research suggests that our brains have evolved to process information and store memories more effectively when we are performing tasks in a social context. He also argues that social interaction is integral in both mental and physical health. This is not common knowledge to most people, but we have all felt it throughout the course of our lives. We feel physical pain when we are dealing with a stressful emotional situation, and we feel great pleasure when spending time with friends and loved ones.

In a post on the subject titled: “Why we are wired to connect,” Lieberman says, “Across many studies of mammals, from the smallest rodents all the way to us humans, the data suggests that we are profoundly shaped by our social environment and that we suffer greatly when our social bonds are threatened or severed” (Lieberman, WWAWTC).

Naturally, it makes sense then to have a strong relationship with our family, especially in later years of life, when home care and hospice become available options. Maintaining this social connection with our loved ones promotes healthier living and creates observable health benefits. As Lieberman suggests, our emotional connections can have physical consequences alongside the obvious mental ones. For home care and hospice care this can mean the difference from enjoying the remainder of one’s life and getting a sense of fulfillment, to living miserably and passing away in distress and loneliness.  So yes, it’s true, spending more time with our loved ones can truly lengthen our lifespans.

Some mental conditions like Alzheimer’s also create situations that are particularly difficult to deal with as a family member. Seeing a family member slip away in this fashion is very hard to deal with and there is often a sense of helplessness entailing this type of diagnosis. It can often be too hard for a patient’s family to deal with the stress involved in this situation, and it’s at times like these where it is a good idea to contact skilled nursing and hospice care services.

Maintaining a relationship with your loved ones during these difficult times is not easy and involvement has its limits; however, home care can provide for the patient when you cannot. When some time constraint or other issue is preventing you from maintaining a healthy relationship with your loved one in need, Rocky Mountain Care can help.

Link to full article on human connection.