As we age, our need for socialization, love and support does not diminish. In fact, research tells us that seniors who report feelings of loneliness have a higher risk of mental and physical decline than those who are more social. Unfortunately, seniors can experience social isolation for many reasons, but there are solutions. Below, we’ve explained how social isolation can affect you as you age and what the benefits of socialization for seniors are.
Negative Effects of Senior Isolation
Many seniors encounter obstacles while trying to stay social and active. Some of these difficulties include:
- Loss of a spouse or loved one
- Struggles with mobility
- Cognitive degeneration
- Fewer family members willing to help with social activities
Some of these hurdles are more difficult to overcome, but with the help of family and loved ones, none are impossible. However, if isolation continues, it can pose health risks to seniors, such as:
- Premature death
- Increased possibility of developing dementia
- Increased risk of heart disease or stroke
- Higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide
- More hospital and emergency room visits Fortunately, socialization and staying connected to family, friends and neighbors can help you minimize these risks.
6 Reasons Why Seniors Should Socialize
Maintaining relationships and growing new ones are necessary for our well-being at all stages of our lives. Below are six important benefits of participating in social activities and connecting with others:
- Improved brain health and memory. Engaging in social events requires active participation in conversation, and studies have shown that this can improve cognitive function.
- Decreased risk of depression. Active, social senior living means less isolation and loneliness. Living a lonely lifestyle comes with the increased risk of developing depression.
- Lower blood pressure and less stress. Socializing with people you enjoy being around creates a relaxing atmosphere. When you are able to relax and appreciate your time, it can reduce stress, which directly affects your blood pressure. Lower blood pressure means less risk of a heart attack or stroke.
- Slower deterioration of health. When older adults spend time with their peers, they’re also choosing to maintain their health more consciously. This health maintenance means improved health longer than their socially isolated counterparts.
- Promotion of self-esteem. Spending time with peers makes us feel needed, appreciated and useful. Seniors have a tendency to feel as though they’ve lost their purpose, so having a social circle can help them to regain their self-esteem and improve emotional health.
- Continued healthy habits. Over time, seniors in isolation turn to poor habits such as neglecting hygiene and dietary needs. Being surrounded by peers and loved ones can help hold you accountable and keep you on the right track for a long, healthy life.
Better Senior Living and Socialization at Garden Plaza of Florissant
At Garden Plaza of Florissant in Missouri, we understand the importance of maintaining the social connection with loved ones and new friends at every stage of life’s journey. That’s why we provide independent living residents with a quaint neighborhood where they are surrounded by their peers. We take care of the tedious tasks like maintenance and yard work, so you can enjoy senior community living. We also encourage residents to participate in the community’s many events and programs and build new, lasting friendships.
Contact our team today to learn if our dynamic senior living community is right for you!