The Benefits of Socializing for Seniors
The need for socialization, love, and support is not something that diminishes as we grow older. In fact, a healthy social life is particularly important for seniors and helps keep them mentally and physically healthy.
A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) points out that more than one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated.
Research shows that consistent social interactions provide many benefits, including:
Longer life: People with more social support and relationships tend to live longer than those who are more isolated regardless of their overall level of health.
Physical health: Friendship is associated with a stronger immune system, so those socializing may have a better chance of fighting off colds and the flu. There is also a reduced risk of cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis as well lower blood pressure by staying active with friends.
Mental health: Interacting with others improves overall well-being by boosting feelings of happiness and decreasing feelings of depression.
Potential lower risk of dementia: Social people generally perform better on cognitive tests and are less likely to develop dementia. However, socializing is most effective when coupled with an overall healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet and physical activity.
Here are some social activities for seniors to help you stay social and improve your quality of life:
Volunteer in your community or at your favorite charity organization.
Join a group focused on a topic or activity you enjoy, such as card games or a book club.
Take a class. Many local universities offer discounts to seniors or allow them to audit classes for free.
Join a gym or fitness center to stay physically fit and engage with others.
Attend religious services.
Participate in a neighborhood or community group.
Play a group sport like golf, bowling or croquet.
Our services at Care Around the Block include companionship. Our Care Partners can spend time with you doing activities, running errands and socializing! If you are interested in companionship or other care services, give us a call at (865)444-6787.