The Benefits of Being Social as You AgeNutrition | May 29, 2014
You may know how important it is to stay physically active, but are you aware of the importance of social health as well as the benefits of being social as you age? Social contact can be just as effective as exercise at improving your mood and quality of life. If you aren’t maintaining social interactions on a daily basis, you may be putting yourself at risk for depression or even dementia. Staying socially active can help you maintain good physical and emotional health as well as cognitive function.
The Benefits of Being Social for Seniors
Not only does interaction with peers lead to a sharper mind, but it gives you a sense of belonging and keeps you connected to the world around you.
In addition, there are health benefits of being socially active, such as a potentially reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and even some cancers. An active social life can boost your immune system and improve your nutrition, since you tend to eat more when you’re around others. Being social can lower your blood pressure and potentially reduce the symptoms of depression. As you can see, social activity is vital to seniors for their health and mental well-being.
So, what are some of the ways seniors can stay socially connected and active? At American Senior Communities, we want to make sure our residents have a variety of options readily available. That is why we created our THRIVE Wellness Program. This program features different activities that focus on thought, health, recreation, interaction, vocation and expression. Click here to learn more about our THRIVE Wellness program.
Here are other social activities that may benefit seniors:
1) Volunteer. If you’re physically able, volunteering in your community can lead to a feeling of accomplishment and purpose.
2) Go back to work. Working even at a part-time job can help keep your mind stimulated and keep you connected to others on a regular basis.
3) Join a club or group. Whether it be a book club, garden club, or a golf group, these meet-ups are a great way to get introduced to new people and share experiences with those who have similar interests.
4) Take a class. Sign up for a writing course or an art class at a community college or adult education center. You’ll learn something new while interacting with others and keeping your brain active.
5) Join a gym. As mentioned before, staying physically active is also very important for seniors, and by joining a gym you’ll get double the benefit. You’ll keep your body active as well as have social engagement with others.
6) Visit family. Reach out to family often to maintain these relationships. You can even offer assistance with babysitting your grandchildren.
7) Learn new technology. Learning to use the internet will give you the ability to connect via email or social media with friends and loved ones who don’t live nearby. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, the 74+ demographic is the fastest-growing group across web-based social networks!
The benefits of being socially active will last far into your future. Staying active and social can only enhance your life as you age, so keep those connections strong!