As we grow older the need for love, companionship, and the support of friends and family does not decrease. In fact, as we enter the retirement years it becomes even more important to maintain a healthy social life. With 3 out of every 10 seniors in the US living alone, this can be challenging. Today we will look at the benefits of a healthy social life, the risk of not socializing, and tips for avoiding isolation.
Why Socialization is So Important
Maintaining healthy relationships is vital no matter your age, but for seniors, social connections are vitally important. Without consistent social interaction loneliness and isolation inevitably lead to depression and despair. Being socially active also relieves stress. When someone is busy interacting with friends and has someone to talk about their problems with they are generally more relaxed and optimistic. Social circles become accountability partners for seniors when it comes to health. Keeping to oneself makes it easy to neglect our health, but socializing gives the motivation to be more physically active and not neglect self-care. And having somewhere to go, something to do, and someone to do it with simply makes life seem more meaningful.
Health Benefits of Socialization
Seniors who regularly participate in social activities experience a number of health benefits and tend to live longer. With less mental and emotional stress and increased physical activity, social seniors tend to have lower blood pressure, fewer aches, and pains, stronger immune systems, and fewer health issues due to higher activity levels. Socially active people tend to have fewer cognitive issues as well. Social contact provides intellectual engagement and promotes mental alertness which protects against cognitive decline. Seniors who are isolated are at far greater risk of depression, chronic health issues, memory loss, and dementia.
Socialization doesn’t always happen naturally for many older people. Living alone far away from family increases the risks of social isolation, but there are things seniors can do to ensure they get the social interaction they need. It can be as simple as going shopping with a friend or neighbor for the day. Other strategies to increase socialization are to take on a part-time job, relocate to an assisted living facility or retirement community, organize activities with other seniors, utilize community resources like religious organizations or senior centers, and most importantly, maintain close contact with children, grandchildren, and other family members even if you don’t live nearby.
At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living, we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a socially active lifestyle to improve their health. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special! Ashbridge Manor is a safe, COVID-free senior living community.