Studies today are proving more and more that social interaction is integral to seniors’ health and wellbeing. As we age, though, it’s difficult to keep up the same social connections we had when we were younger. If we’re not headed into an office every day or even if we aren’t going out running errands, then we aren’t experiencing important social interactions to stay physically sharp and healthy, and even ward off dementia. Maintaining social interactions and interpersonal relationships also help you maintain strong physical, emotional, and cognitive health.
Maintaining strong social and filial bonds and finding ways to remain social help us to live longer, in fact. Strong relationships and social interactions help boost the immune system and maintain health our health by protecting us against various illnesses.
Many older adults become isolated in their older age, staying home and rarely speaking to others. There are many risks included with this behavior:
- Feeling lonely and depressed
- Being less physically active
- Having a greater risk of death
- Having high blood pressure
There are plenty of ways to be more social as an older adult:
- Volunteer in your community.
- Visit a senior center and participate in offered activities with other seniors—this is a great way to make new friends.
- Join a group focused on activities you enjoy, such as playing cards or a book club.
- Try taking a class—learn a new language or a new style of cooking or experiment with a new hobby.
- Join a gym or fitness center to stay physically fit and engage with others.
Another great way to ward off illness – both physically and mentally – is to stay active and eat nutritious foods. By practicing these simple tasks, we can ward off cardiovascular disease and dementia, lessen our chances of Alzheimer’s and the potential of stroke, and even prolong our lives.
Have a chat with your doctor or a family member today about becoming more active. If you don’t drive any longer, find out about senior or public transportation, or even carpooling and ride sharing. There are many senior centers and exercise facilities in the area which cater specifically to the senior population. It can even help to look into your local HOA to see if there are any clubs or activities they offer. Your life as you age changes drastically, so it’s important to take steps to change with it, and remain as active as possible.
Source: Novanthealth.org, “Prevention, Self-Care and Safety: Older Adults: Well Being”