Benefits of Socialization for Seniors
The need for company and support does not go away as people get older. The numbers show why this is important: nearly 3 in 10 seniors live by themselves. While independence can be important for older adults, it can be key to note why social interaction is beneficial. These benefits are not only helpful from an overall health standpoint but offer psychological advantages as well. Here is a look at some of the benefits socialization provides.
Sense of Belonging
It doesn’t matter if we are kids or adults; feeling like we belong somewhere is important. It can be significant to have a group of people you can discuss parts of your life with. This is even more important to those that have lost someone close to them, like a spouse or family member. By interacting with other people, older adults are able to create new friendships and lasting bonds.
Reduced Chance of Mental Decline
You may not think of a common link between cognitive ability and socialization. However, the two are connected in multiple ways. A study found that people with higher amounts of social activity showed 70% less cognitive decline compared to more reclusive people. In addition, seniors that are considered to be “very mentally sharp” are the ones that have cultivated friendships. These relationships can also improve episodic memory, where you are able to have in-depth recollections of past events.
As people age, there is the possibility of someone’s self-esteem dwindling. This is usually the result of feeling embarrassed or frustrated over not being able to perform tasks like they could in the past. By socializing and interacting with other people, however, they are able to feel like they are about to contribute something to their community. Plus, positive interactions can help increase overall confidence in a person’s abilities.
It can be difficult to be more social for older adults. However, being isolated can lead to harmful effects, including higher stress levels. By being more socially active, seniors are able to better handle things that can cause stress. Lowering stress also helps with improving cardiovascular health and one’s immune system. It also reduces ailments that are tied to stress, like depression and anxiety.
By spending more time with friends and family, a person is able to increase their level of happiness. In addition to reducing the risks of depression and anxiety, having a consistent support system can increase their overall quality of life. Socialization can also have a positive impact on fitness as well. Older people that are involved with a social support group are more likely to regularly take up an exercise plan. This can lead to boosts in physical, mental, and cognitive benefits.
The ability to be social has many benefits for everybody, but even more so for older adults. Whether it’s improving mental health, increasing happiness, or wanting to be more active, finding a community to be part of can make a big difference in seniors’ lives.