Importance of Social Activities for Older Adults
May 10, 2019
Physical health is incredibly important for older adults, but what about your social health?
Major health benefits of socializing
Better cognitive function
Being social keeps you mentally engaged and is important to prevent the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Connecting with other people through social activities and community programs can keep your brain active and help you feel less isolated.
Better emotional health
Much like physical exercise, being social helps keep you in a positive mood. This helps ward off depression and anxiety and reduces stress.
Boosted immune system
Studies show that seniors who stay engaged with others have higher levels of immune-system functioning. Chronic stress and depression can weaken the immune system. As previously stated, socializing can ward off depression and anxiety in seniors.
Improved physical health
Socially active seniors tend to be more physically active as well. Plus, they tend to eat more and make better food choices when eating with others. Studies have shown that seniors living in areas with greater social capital had significantly higher physical mobility scores than those living in lower social capital neighborhoods.
Ways to improve social health
Join a club or group
There are nearly an infinite number of clubs or groups revolving around everything from gardening to books, so it’s easy to find the right group for you. The consistency of club meetings allows you to have regular contact with other people who share your interests.
Become a volunteer
Volunteering in your community brings you a sense of accomplishment as well as providing important social interactions.
Join a senior fitness center
Fitness centers combine two necessary activities for seniors: physical exercise and social activities. Not to mention, with more socializing and exercise, you are more likely to find happy and engaged people at fitness centers.
Try out new technology
Thanks to new technology like Skype and social media, it’s easier than ever to connect or reconnect with friends and family. If learning new technology feels daunting, contact your local library — it’s likely they’ll have beginners computer classes.