Everyone loves to have friends; they are good for the soul. And it turns out, being around good friends and acquaintances has countless benefits for the health and wellness of seniors. That makes a strong social life a key factor in aging well.
Being around your peers—who understand your past, believe in your future, and accept you as you are—is one of the biggest draws of senior living.
How social connections benefit the health and wellness of seniors
Combat the negative effects of isolation
The National Institute on Aging reports research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, depression, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, being around someone you care for has shown to boost the immune system and actually play a key role in warding off these conditions. Even better, these benefits to the health and wellness of seniors are multiplied when friends are close by all day.
Take away the pain
Even just holding hands or a brief hug can lower blood pressure and reduce pain. And the good news, the effects last all day! In addition, having the support of friends can also reduce pain in those with chronic pain, such as arthritis. Less pain and stress mean more happy moments and more motivation to be active and engaged.
Connect you with the right energy
There’s a lot of buzz about finding your “tribe” or your “flock,” which just means seeking out others who share your values and interests. Research from the Blue Zones, which are places around the world where people seem to have mastered successful aging, confirms that residents in these areas build a close circle of friends that share their commitment to a healthy lifestyle. This helps them avoid bad behaviors such as smoking or overeating, while promoting more positive lifestyle choices.
Help you feel you belong
There’s something very beneficial about feeling like you belong to a part of a larger community; a friendly neighborhood you trust and value. Knowing others are looking forward to seeing you each day gets you up with a smile and a spring in your step.
Motivate you to achieve goals
Want to ramp up your fitness regimen, maybe lose a pound or two, or finally tackle that scrapbook you’ve always wanted to put together? Being around others pursuing similar goals makes it easier, and a lot more fun—and is a huge part of the benefits to the health and wellness of seniors!
Keep your brain happy
In one study conducted by the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, people with frequent social interaction had 70% less cognitive decline than people with low social interaction. Social interaction can literally increase brain connectivity. In addition, engaging in lifelong learning opportunities not only builds your social network, it also exercises the brain.
Help you stay safe and independent
The more social you are with those who live around you, the safer you feel, and the more likely you are to take walks, exercise, and get involved in activities and events. Being more active and exercising helps improve your strength and balance, which in turn helps you avoid falls or other injuries and thus helps you remain independent longer.
When it comes to the health and wellness of seniors, friends matter
Knowing someone is close by and happy to greet you goes a long way. It’s why so many older adults appreciate the nurturing and supportive environment found in today’s senior living communities. You are surrounded by interesting, caring people who are there for you when you need them. And they make everything much more fun!
Senior living, the LSS Senior Living way
At LSS Senior Living, our goal is to offer seniors quality care and comfort in a friendly and warm environment that feels like home. We offer a continuum of services to lend a helping hand when you need them. Find out more about our communities: