People of all age need social interaction for a happy and healthy quality of life, but unfortunately, as we age we become more susceptible to isolation. Seniors who have spent most of their lives around others in the workplace or in a busy family suddenly face a time in life when they just don’t have as many people around. Research has found that an active social life is critical for seniors, helping them to maintain their mental sharpness and connection with the rest of the world. Here are some reasons why socializing is essential to your mental and physical health as an older adult.
1. Improve Your Mental Health
Estimates indicate that around 7 million people over the age of 65 will suffer from symptoms of depression. After age 71, one out of every seven people in America will suffer from dementia. Both of these problems are reduced significantly for those seniors who have regular, consistent contact with other people.
Consider a study found in the Annals of Family Medicine that followed 193 seniors with depression symptoms. Some were given individual physical activity to do for six months, while others had regular social visits during the trial period. The study found that social participation greatly improved both mood and quality of life.
Dr. Robert Wilson, a researcher with the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, found that lonely people are twice as likely to develop the form of dementia that can turn in to Alzheimer’s disease. He said, “Humans are very social creatures. We need healthy interactions with others to maintain our health.” In other words, socialization helps protect your mental health, and that’s not something to take lightly.
2. Improve Your Physical Health
In addition to helping with your mental health, regular socialization can improve your physical health. Having an active social life boosts your immune system, lowers your blood pressure and can help with the physical pain that is connected to depression. Yes, your social life is good for your health!
Not only that, but seniors who spend time with each other encourage healthier habits. When you have a friend encouraging you to eat well and be physically active, you are more prone to follow the advice. This can lead to healthier lifestyles as well.
We make this easy at Eddy Senior Communities with our Wellness Program.
3. Improved Self-Esteem and Confidence
Surrounding yourself with friends make life fun and interesting, and this can help improve your confidence and your self-esteem. Working with friends on a project or activity or even volunteering in the local community can help you enjoy your senior years to the fullest. This increased self-esteem and confidence leads to an increase in overall enjoyment of life.
As you can see, an active social life is crucial to your health, happiness and well-being. So the next time you’re presented with one of the many opportunities to be social at Eddy, jump on it! Not only will you be having fun, but you will also be protecting your health.
If you or your loved one is looking for a place to live with plenty of activities and socialization, visit Eddy Senior Living to learn more about our living arrangements, including independent living communities, assisted living communities and memory care communities. All have activities, 24-hour security and access to medical care.