Eating together and hanging out as a family unit offers benefits to the entire family, including seniors. Benefits of regular family outings for seniors include providing important socialization and stimulation, reducing loneliness, and even improving your loved one’s health and happiness. Don’t just take our word for it – these facts are backed by research!
Inviting your senior parents or grandparents to join you for a family dinner is a great idea, although it’s not always feasible if they cannot drive. That’s why at Stellar Transportation we’ve added family dinners to our long-list of transportation services.
Important Benefits of Family Outings for Seniors
A Chance to Connect Socially
Social interaction is super important for seniors, who often fail to get enough social stimulation each day. Meeting up for dinner at the end of the day offers a chance for seniors to engage, talk and laugh with others. Even if it’s just for an hour or two, this dose of socializing will boost their mood and can even improve their health.
It’s not uncommon for seniors who can no longer drive to feel left out of things, by keeping them in the loop you help give them more gusto and reason to thrive.
Eating Alone Makes Seniors Feel Lonely
One study found that one in five seniors reported feeling their loneliest when eating alone. Reasons seniors end up eating alone include friends and family live too far away to enjoy a meal together on the regular, or they are unable to drive to attend family dinners. You may not be able to have every dinner with your senior loved one, but even a meal or two each week or month can make all the difference while giving them something to look forward to.
Adding even more benefit to the table, mealtimes shared with loved ones tend to last 2 to 3 times longer than meals eaten alone. In addition, 85% of seniors interviewed for this same survey reported that mealtimes shared with loved ones made their meals more satisfying.
Helps Ensure Seniors Are Getting Proper Nutrients
One of the biggest concerns for seniors is that they do not get enough of the proper nutrients at meal time. Going out to eat as a family helps ensure they are eating their fruits, veggies and proteins and enjoying a solid meal that day.
A study conducted out of Ohio State University in conjunction with the Abbott health care company, found that around 40 percent of seniors do not eat enough protein each day. On top of that, over 37% of seniors do not get proper nutrients across the board – this number goes up with age. Participants in the study that were over 70 ate even fewer essential nutrients.
A big part of the problem? Skipping meals. Going out to eat as a family helps to ensure that dinner is not skipped.
Plus, hunger tends to decline with age. Yet, the mood boost brought on by being around family may help spark one’s appetite.
Offers a Chance to Connect & Stay Up to Date on One Another’s Lives
Regular family dinners help keep everyone in the loop and can fill you in on important happenings in your senior loved one’s life. For instance, if they just had a doctor appointment or need something from the drug store, this gives you the opportunity to step in and help when you might otherwise be left in the dark.
Stellar Transportation Offers Rides to Family Dinners
Don’t let your loved one miss out an opportunity to hang out with the family! We have extended our list of services to include rides to family dinners. Contact us to learn more or to get a quote.