February 16 2018
Getting older comes with many changes, from the physical to the mental. Some things can become more difficult to accomplish due to certain health conditions and a lack of energy, which can lead to:
• Diminished socialization
• Fewer friendships
• Poor health
Socializing Through The Years
Many people fail to realize the importance of socialization for senior citizens. Children are taught social skills at a young age, giving them the ability to form bonds with others throughout their lifetime. Forming important bonds and socializing is a skill that goes well beyond childhood and, unfortunately, making friends can become more difficult to do later in life. This is the time, however, when people need other people the most.
Better Health Through Forming Relationships
Studies show that socializing with others has a drastic impact on the health and wellbeing of senior citizens. Some of these impacts include:
• A sense of belonging. Being in the company of those who share similar interests makes people feel like they belong somewhere. Engaging in activities with others can help seniors make new friends while strengthening existing relationships.
• Improved self-esteem. Looking forward to meeting people, volunteering, or even working gives senior citizens a reason to get up and go. Confidence and self-esteem grow when people have positive interactions with others and feel like they are contributing to the community.
• Creating a purpose. From a young age, people attempt to find their purpose. That purpose can get lost, however, when they get older. Having somewhere to go, people to spend time with, and relationships to foster can renew a sense of fulfillment, create a new purpose, and provide a reason for being.
• Better mental health. Isolation can cause depression; especially in senior citizens. Spending time with others can make people feel loved and appreciated, which has an uplifting effect. In addition, having regular conversations with others keeps the brain sharp, increases cognitive function, and lowers the risk of dementia.
• Increased physical health. Staying physically active with others can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems, and lower risk of osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Socializing with others can lead to a better immune system, better nutritional intake, and a better feeling of overall wellness.
Senior Living communities can increase socialization in senior citizens. A community that provides residents with social events and activities designed around shared interests can help them lead a healthier and happier life. From meeting at the community center to sharing daily meals together, a good community center can be the place where the social skills learned long ago can continue to grow.