Loneliness is one of the biggest problems facing senior citizens. Many of their friends will have passed away or moved out of the city or country as they’ve got older. Family members move on, start their own family, and don’t visit as much. And it can be more difficult to socialize and make new friends as we get older.
But it’s so important to maintain a social life at any stage of our life. It’s not just a way to enjoy our time more; becoming isolated can actually have real consequences for our mental and physical health.
The mental health benefits of socialization for seniors
Having an active social life with friends and family members helps to avoid major issues like depression and anxiety in seniors. Regular social engagements provide something to look forward to and give seniors a purpose in life, which is especially beneficial towards fighting depression.
Also, socializing often requires getting out of the house, into the fresh air and different environments, which also helps to fight problems like depression. Enjoyable social activities also help to reduce stress levels and improve self-esteem, helping seniors feel happier, more relaxed, and more confident.
Benefits to physical health
Social activities that involve getting out of the house and doing light exercise like walking, or even a social exercise class like tai chi or bowling, improve the activity levels of seniors. Staying active is important for seniors to help them stay physically fit and maintain bone and muscle strength.
Socializing also has an amazing ability of keeping away illness. It has been found to improve the immune system, making them less likely to contract minor illnesses that can lead to further complications. Since it reduces stress, socializing can also help to prevent high blood pressure and to keep the heart healthy.
The cognitive benefits of socialization
Staying social also has lots of benefits for the cognitive health of seniors. Communicating with friends and taking part in novel experiences, which every conversation can provide, keeps the brain active and engaged. This helps the brain maintain its strength and health, keeping the mind sharp and helping to prevent conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Even for patients suffering from these conditions, socializing can help to slow down degeneration, especially in the early stages.
A thriving social life is an important part of staying healthy as we get older, but it can be difficult, especially for seniors who live alone. Moving into a retirement community or assisted living can make socialization easier because events are held on the complex and residents can share meals together. If you’re interested in assisted living for you or a loved one, then get in touch to find out more about our community in Bermuda Run, NC.