We all know how vital it is to take care of our bodies and our brains as we age. But we often forget how essential our social needs are, too. The health benefits of socialization for older adults cannot be understated; it promotes physical, emotional, and mental well-being. When we neglect socializing, we become isolated, which can lead to depression. By building strong social connections, you’ll create a life that’s richer, longer, and happier.
An absence of social activity can lead to cognitive decline. Talking with friends or doing activities like light exercise or puzzles will keep your brain engaged. Having conversations stimulates the mind. By staying social, you can reduce your risk of dementia. Adults that have been isolated for some time may find it difficult to suddenly transform into social butterflies. But it’s important to remember that there are many other seniors out there in this exact position.
Looking to make new friends, but unsure how to go about it? By getting involved in your community, opportunities to interact with like-minded adults will arise.
Staying close with friends and family can add years to your life. Did you know that people with more friends live longer? Many aging adults reduce their social activities as they get older. This is usually due to mobility issues. Seniors may rely on the support of family members to help them get around, which is not always available. They might require a wheelchair – a lack of accessibility can restrict their social activities. Feelings of isolation or depression, which can result from the death of a spouse or friend, can make it very difficult to leave the house. Socialization can help to alleviate these difficult emotions.
Aging comes with new stresses. Retiring from working life can be exciting, but over time it may lead to loneliness and boredom. It can be tough to lose the social circle that work provides. Retirement can offer good incentives for seniors to find new outlets. Staying social will help decrease the stress of having too much time on your hands, and help you find purpose and meaning in life after your working years are done. Being social can increase your self-esteem; great friends can remind you that you have qualities that other people value.
How should we keep social as we age? There are community centres where other seniors gather to look for social opportunities; joining these clubs can provide enrichment. If you are physically able, volunteering in an organization whose cause is meaningful to you can be a source of socialization. Staying socially active makes it easier to be physically active, too. If you share a hobby with a friend, you can partake in it together – gardening, painting, and knitting are all enjoyable group activities.
COVID-19 has made it difficult for aging adults to seek social outlets. But in a time of increased stress, socialization is even more important. Home care is a great way for aging adults to have social interaction without leaving their houses. Those with accessibility issues or depression can benefit tremendously from this support. Partners for Home is proud to offer Winnipeg home care. We offer social support and can also help seniors use technology to stay connected with loved ones during times of physical distancing.