March 22, 2018

The Benefits of Social Activities for Seniors

We all know the importance of eating healthy and staying physically active as we age. Maintaining the body and exercising regularly are a key part of your overall health. However, researchers have found that social health can provide a variety of benefits for aging adults, and staying in touch with friends and loved ones or building new relationships can be as effective as exercise at improving your mood and overall quality of life.

Social wellness refers to the relationships we have and how we interact with others. As we age, our social circles may change as friends and loved ones may no longer be with us and children may move away. This decline in social interactions can make seniors more susceptible to illness, depression and isolation. Additionally, social isolation can even increase the death rate two or three times higher than those who maintain strong relationships.

Why Staying Socially Active Can Improve Your Overall Health

Studies have found that social isolation in seniors can lead to long-term illnesses such as such as chronic lung disease, arthritis, impaired mobility, and depression. In fact, isolated seniors are more likely to need long-term care.

There are a variety of benefits of social activity for seniors that improve overall health and wellness, including:

  1. Better cognitive function. Seniors who are socially engaged with their peers are more likely to experience positive cognitive health benefits as they age. Studies done by the National Institute on Aging have found positive indicators that strong social relationships may be correlated with lower levels of interleukin-6, an inflammatory factor associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s.
  2. Improved physical health. Alongside the cognitive benefits associated with social activity in seniors, maintaining social connections can also have a variety of benefits on your physical wellbeing such as lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk for cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and even some cancers. Additionally, social connectivity can boost your immune system and improve your nutritional health. This is because we tend to eat more and make better food choices when we are around others.
  3. Maintain your independence. Social isolation can often lead to a variety of mental and physical health problems, making it harder to maintain an independent lifestyle. Seniors who are more isolated can suffer from depression, anxiety, poor immune health, lack of proper nutrition, and an increased risk for a variety of other health issues that can lead to a decline in independence. Being surrounded by family and friends can not only improve your physical health, but provide a sense of purpose and improve your mood and quality of life.
  4. Increase your longevity. Adults who maintain strong social circles as they age are more likely to live a longer and happier life. Friends and loved ones can help you deal with the stresses of daily life and also encourage you to live healthier as well. In fact, seniors who help care for their grandchildren claim it makes them feel healthier and more active in their day to day lifestyles.

Staying Socially Active with Symphony Senior Living

At Symphony Senior Living, we know that staying socially active is key to healthy aging. Our senior living communities are a second home to our residents, providing a variety of engaging activities that promote overall wellness. To learn more about our vibrant communities, please contact us today.

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