No matter our age, we all feel a strong desire for company, support and friendship and this does not lessen just because we age. For seniors, the need for a healthy and happy social life is perhaps even more important and here’s why:
The benefits of consistent social interaction help to keep older people emotionally, mentally and physically fitter and healthier. Isolation can lead to many difficulties, whereas interaction makes life more meaningful and enjoyable.
When older people have a social life, they often avoid many of the physical and mental problems that more isolated individuals experience. They enjoy lower levels of stress and anxiety. Socially active seniors are able to cope with stress better which boosts the immune system and improves cardiovascular health.
Friendships and socialisation can also lengthen a person’s life, perhaps providing a greater sense of motivation and purpose.
Older adults with different social interests are also fitter, especially if those activities involve aspects of regular exercise as this leads to a whole host of physical, emotional and cognitive benefits.
Being able to socialise also helps to prevent depression as it reduces the risk of becoming isolated and suffering the associated depression that isolation can bring.
The same can be said for anxiety as people with others regularly can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety in older adults.
Seniors who socialise also enjoy higher levels of self-esteem as they experience a greater sense of worth and purpose.
From a cognitive point of view, being socially active helps to keep a person mentally stimulated, intellectually engaged and sharper than those who are more isolated. The benefit is that socialisation can help cognitive decline in older age to be prevented, including serious issues like memory loss and dementia. When the activities also include physical exercise, the benefits are even more pronounced, greatly improving the quality of life.
Moving to a park home site can be a great solution, as there are often resident clubs, groups and events to engage with. For Gloucester Park Homes for Sale, visit a site like http://www.parkhomelife.com/our-parks/
For many older people, there can be very real obstacles preventing better socialisation. These could include:
Illness or ailments
Real or believed cognitive decline
Bereavement of a spouse
Mobility issues or isolated by location
No friends or family available to assist with socialisation
Without an intervention or an attempt to solve the above issues, a lack of socialisation can lead to a worsening of problems, becoming a vicious circle that becomes harder to get out of. It’s never too late to encourage and help an older person to engage in social activities.
Consider the strengthening of relationships with grandchildren or encouraging the person to try some volunteer work, for example. Research local resources such as religious groups, senior events at community centres or groups meeting at residential facilities, for example.