Stay Social, Live Longer
As people age, they often lose contact with many of their friends and family. It may be harder for you or your loved one to meet new people and do some of the social things younger people do. It is still very important to make every effort to socialize.
Health Benefits of Being Social
Staying socially active has proven to increase physical as well as emotional health. That can add up to a longer lifespan. In fact, there has been quite a bit of research that shows that seniors with strong relationships outlive those who are socially isolated.
If you are social, your blood pressure can be lowered. There is even some evidence that you have a lower risk of osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular problems, and some cancers.
Social seniors often have better nutrition. Eating out with friends often means you will eat more, and a better variety of food.
Depression can have devastating effects on your physical health. Loneliness can be a big contributor to depression, so staying social is a must.
How to Stay Social
Assisted living homes provide many great opportunities for making new relationships. They give you the opportunity to interact with a variety of people face-to-face. There are often classes, trips, and other events for meeting new people. Even eating a meal with someone new can give you the chance to make a new friend.
On top of taking advantage of the programs at an assisted living home, there are other activities to try where you might meet new people. You could volunteer in your community, for example. Many elementary schools are eager for people to come in and listen to their children read. You could also join a gym, which will have the added bonus of keeping you physically fit.
Although the best type of social interaction is in person, writing letters or emails and talking on the phone can be beneficial to your health as well. Taking a class to become more familiar with the internet can have two benefits; you meet new people in the class while learning how to connect with friends and family through social media.
The Risks of Isolation
People who allow themselves to become isolated face many risks. They tend to be more depressed, less physically fit, and have higher blood pressure. All of these risk factors can shave precious years off of your life.
Although it may take more effort as you age, the benefits of an active social life make it worth it. Not only can it allow you live longer, it provides you with a support network for when times get tough. Friends and family can make life even more worth living!