No one questions that staying physically active is vital for your health, but many people underestimate how much social interaction impacts well-being. What is the importance of social activity for seniors?
The Importance of Social Activity for Seniors
Everyone knows someone who seems happiest in a crowd. Often dubbed social butterflies, these people have a natural charm that draws smiles and life stories from complete strangers with an enviable ease that leaves others wondering how they manage it. While not everyone has the same gift of gab, staying social can deliver real perks, so it’s worth making an effort to be involved with the world around you. If you are wondering about the importance of social activity for seniors, just consider its benefits. Then, think about a few ways that you can stay social.
The Benefits of Social Activity for Seniors
Being alone isn’t the same thing as being lonely. In fact, there are times when it’s honestly refreshing to spend a few hours unwinding with no demands from others to intrude on your relaxation. That said, there are also real benefits to engaging with other people socially. What advantages can seniors expect from socializing?
- Better Cognitive Function: Socializing might not be rocket science but it does require mental engagement, and keeping your brain active is a smart move if you want to prevent the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Connecting with other people by getting involved in social activities and community groups can be a great way to stay social and keep your brain busy.
- Boosted Emotional Health: The endorphins released by physical exercise are known to boost mood. Building social connections can have a similar effect on a person’s frame of mind. Getting together with other people can lift your mood and help you maintain a positive attitude. This can reduce stress and help to keep depression and anxiety at bay.
- Stronger Immune System: How can being socially active strengthen your immune system? The answer has two parts. For starters, chronic depression and anxiety are known to weaken the immune system. By reducing your risk of these issues, socializing gives your immune system a boost. In addition, seniors who are social also tend to be more likely to engage in other healthy activities. They generally get more physical activity and eat more healthy foods than their less-sociable peers. It should come as no surprise that having healthy habits can provide a welcome lift for your immune system.
As Healthline reports, research links social isolation and loneliness to increased risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and other issues, and socializing is an effective way to combat social isolation.
Strategies for Staying Social
What can seniors do to stay social? There are countless possibilities:
- Join a group or club. There are groups for almost every topic. Joining one that is drawn together by something that you care about provides a regular chance to spend time with people that share your interests.
- Volunteer. Volunteering offers opportunities to socialize and the reward of knowing that you’re giving back.
- Take classes. Learning something new is a great way to keep your brain engaged, and interacting with your teacher and classmates will provide additional stimulation.
- Join a fitness center with classes for seniors. When you sign up for fitness classes at a gym, you’ll enjoy physical activity and social activity.
- Use technology to connect with others. With the internet and social media, you can use technology to connect with people across the street and across the world.
- Move to a senior living community. Senior living communities often boast calendars full of events and activities designed to encourage their residents to stay engaged. This makes it easy for residents to socialize.
Staying social is fun, and it offers real benefits for seniors’ physical, mental, and emotional health.
At the Crossings at Riverview, we delight in creating a positive atmosphere and interesting programs that make socializing fun and easy. If you’re looking to retire near Tampa, Florida, we invite you to tour our community, meet our friendly staff, and see our amenities first-hand. Overlooking the Alafia River on twelve beautiful acres, the Crossings at Riverview offers a relaxing atmosphere, and our talented team is committed to cultivating a welcoming and vibrant community. Our goal is to make our community feel like home for all of our residents. To schedule a tour, contact us online. We look forward to meeting you!