Why Socialization Matters for Older Adults
It’s easy to overlook the value of socialization, but forging connections with others is an integral part of what makes us human. When we prioritize social interactions, our lives begin to flourish in other ways—physically, mentally, and emotionally. Unfortunately, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a vibrant social life as we age.
Whether it’s due to retirement, the death of a spouse, decreased energy, or limited mobility, older adults have a heightened risk of social isolation and the consequences that come with it. Continue reading to learn why socializing is important for older adults and what you can do to give your social life a boost.
Socialization Improves Your Physical Health
We all know that nutrition and exercise are essential to keep our bodies running smoothly. But did you know that an active social life also contributes to better physical health? Experts have confirmed a link between a person’s social ties and physical health. Folks with a robust social life tend to have lower blood pressure, reduced stress, a stronger immune system, and even a longer lifespan.
Studies also support the idea that socialization promotes healthier eating habits. For older adults who live alone, it can be difficult to consistently prepare healthy meals, and if you’re always at a table for one, you may not think healthy eating is worth the effort. People who routinely dine with friends, on the other hand, tend to eat more nutritious and well-rounded meals.
Socialization Improves Mental Health
According to the CDC, depression affects seven million adults aged 65 and older. Cut off from friends and family, many of these isolated individuals develop a diminished sense of self-worth. As many of us know, the aging process can be a hotbed for growing insecurities as things we may have done with ease in our youth become frustratingly harder as we get older. This, in turn, can do a number on our self-esteem.
Socializing with others goes a long way toward affirming our sense of self-worth. It helps remind us that we’re still key members of our communities and that we still have many wonderful things to offer. Socializing makes it easier to remember that our value doesn’t vanish once we reach a certain age.
Socializing promotes the body’s production of dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone, which fosters feelings of joy and contentment. Socializing with others also requires some level of mental engagement, which can help ward off cognitive decline.
Socialization Helps Hold Us Accountable
When it comes to maintaining our health, most of us could use a hand now and then. Our social circles are a great place to turn for help. It’s not uncommon to develop bad habits when we live alone, so getting out and socializing helps keep us accountable for our health and gives us a reason to practice self-care.
To see this in action, try picking up a group exercise class. Exercising with friends can act as a form of “good” peer pressure and may be just the motivation you need to get moving.
Socialization Instills a Sense of Purpose
Spending quality time with friends and loved ones is what life is all about. The connections we form with others provide meaning in our lives. Having places to go and people to see reminds us that our lives have a purpose and gives us a reason to get up in the morning.
Where to Find Opportunities to Socialize
If you’re looking for ways to boost your social life, here are some activities to consider that are suitable for any age:
Volunteer: Have a special skill or talent? Why not pass on your passion for knitting or love of classical guitar by teaching a lesson to your peers? It’s a great way to keep your skills sharp while meeting new people.
Join a Club: Meet like-minded folks by signing up for a club that explores your top area of interest, such as knitting, sports, or ballroom dancing.
Take a Class: You’re never too old to learn something new. Check out your local college for classes that interest you. They may allow older adults to audit classes at little to no cost.
Join a Gym: See if your local fitness center offers group activities geared toward older adults.
Socialization Is Important at Provision Living
At Provision Living, we acknowledge the irreplaceable value of social connections. Our dynamic community makes it easy for residents to enjoy a vibrant social life. To witness how our communities foster relationships and encourage socialization, schedule your visit to Provision Living today.
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