Meeting up friends, engaging in group activities, and attending family events is undoubtedly fun. But did you know that socializing with other people also has numerous health benefits in store?
For senior adults, socializing is all the more important for leading a wholesome life as they deal with age-related health issues and loneliness. Read on to know how socializing with other people can benefit senior adults.
1. Fight Depression
Loneliness and isolation are leading causes of depression in older individuals. Further to this, staying isolated can make way for feelings of worthlessness and despair. Maintaining an active social life can keep such thoughts away and help seniors live an enriching life mentally and emotionally.
2. Prevent Cognitive Decline
Studies show that cognitive impairment is linked to loneliness. For seniors, cognitive health can be maintained and bettered with activities as simple as having regular conversations, preferably face-to-face, with friends or family, or joining an activity group. Leading a social life can also boost memory and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
3. Stimulate the Brain
Having a sharp mind is as important for older adults as it is for kids and young individuals. And studies show that socializing on a regular basis helps keep the brain stimulated! Brain neurons keep firing especially when you meet new people and build new relationships. Learning new skills or engaging in new activities can also have similar effects.
4. Better Physical Health
Leading an active social life means staying engaged in various activities. Increased social activity and physical movement, even though limited to simply getting up and moving about, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure. Studies also show that being socially active can reduce the risk of various forms of arthritis, and slow down the progression of declining health.
5. Improved Nutrition
Seniors who are lonely and/or depressed might not find it worthwhile to cook for themselves. They might not cook because of difficulties with using kitchen tools and equipment too; however, they tend to skip meals even if help is at hand. By contrast, seniors who socialize more are likely to eat regular meals and consume higher-quality foods. It goes without saying that this directly translates to better health.
6. Stress Management
Doing things you love and being around people that make you happy can significantly lower stress levels. Studies also show that social interaction helps release oxytocin in the body, which can boost good feelings. Lower stress levels are further associated to lower blood pressure, better heart health, and improved immunity.
7. Restful Sleep
According to research, socially isolated people tend to experience more restlessness and disruptions in their sleep. This happens even when individuals are unaware of their own feelings and outlook toward their loneliness. It has been shown that individuals sleep better when they have fulfilling relationships and connections with others. In addition to this, having an eventful day can help establish a normal sleep cycle for seniors.
8. Increased Productivity
While seniors might not have to go to work or accomplish a multitude of tasks, socializing with others does help them be more productive or energetic during the day. This is directly related to getting better sleep and being healthier mentally and physically. Whether seniors indulge in a bit of gardening, go out for walks, or take care of manageable household chores, they are sure to achieve more with their renewed vigor!
9. Enhanced Motivation
Being socially active can motivate seniors to enjoy their lives. Encouragement from seniors or caregivers, and achieving success in learning new crafts or skills can inspire them to keep going, positively affecting mental stimulation and boosting self-confidence.
10. Create a Sense of Purpose
Spending time with other people, participating in activities, keeping up with family events or news, etc. gives seniors a sense of purpose and helps create a positive outlook toward life. They also get to choose what they want to do and plan their day accordingly, which improves self-esteem.
11. Maintain Independence
Our desire to be independent and do everything by ourselves doesn’t diminish with age and becomes all the more important to us as we get older. For older individuals who are unable to control all aspects of their life due to health limitations, being able to exercise even a little bit of control over their daily grind can make a huge difference in their attitude. Apart from planning their day, getting seniors to help with chores like cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, and more can help them feel accomplished and maintain the essence of independence.
As discussed, leading an active social life helps promote good physical and mental health, slows down the progress of degenerative diseases, improves nutrition and sleep patterns, and reduces stress for senior adults. All of these benefits are linked to longevity, while also improving the quality of life for seniors.
While technology has made it easier to socialize with people, face-to-face interaction definitely has more benefits over on-screen interaction. Senior adults can start socializing by staying in touch with their family and loved ones, and then move on to joining activity groups, taking up a new hobby, or joining a gym or library. Volunteering in communities is also a great way to get more active socially!
With the information provided here, you now know how important it is for seniors to lead a social life. So if you know senior adults who could do with some socializing, reach out to them and help them be their active, vibrant self.
Evan Thompson, CEO, and Founder of Senior.One has a long-standing interest in finding solutions for seniors. He helps connect senior citizens and their family members with elder care service providers and find the resources they need in one place. He offers information on nursing homes, hospice, financial planning, adult care, lifestyle and elderly care albuquerque. He provides information on housing, medical professionals, financial planning services, and lifestyle options.