9 Reasons Why It’s Important for Seniors to Have a Social Life
Everyone thinks of kids and teenagers as the social crowds. When you reach adulthood, it makes sense that you spend less time out with friends. After all, you’re busy making a living and managing a household.
There’s a piece many people miss, though. When their children are grown and they retire, they forget to hop back into the social scene.
As a senior citizen, you’re just as capable of having a fun social life as your younger self was. In fact, it’s more important than ever in your golden years because your social time comes with a range of benefits.
The Perks of Having a Social Life as a Senior Citizen
As you age, your priorities have changed. Chances are that your health is a bigger concern today than it was a few decades ago. Fortunately, a social calendar can boost your health on top of other benefits.
1. Emotional Health
Emotional health is often forgotten for senior citizens. While it doesn’t get the focus it needs, it’s a serious risk.
Your risk for depression gets higher the older you get. If you start falling into social isolation, the danger goes through the roof.
The good news is that building a social life may keep depression at bay. One study found that socially active seniors had a 39% lower risk than those who rarely socialized.
What’s more, depression makes itself worse. If you get isolated, you’re likely to get depressed. That depression makes you stay inside and isolates you even more.
It’s a vicious cycle you can avoid with a consistent friend date.
2. Fostering Relationships
Relationships are like plants. If you spend time nurturing them they get stronger and brighter. If you neglect them, they wither away.
As you get older, it’s important to have a support system. We all go through hardships, and the right circle of friends can help you through them.
Having people around is also important for your health and safety. Friends may be able to spot when you aren’t acting or looking like yourself, even when you don’t notice it.
By keeping up with a consistent social life, you can nurture relationships and keep your support system strong.
3. Mental Stimulation
While seniors’ emotional health is often forgotten, there’s a constant spotlight on memory health.
When it comes to your mental strength, the saying holds true: if you don’t use it, you lose it. The more mental stimulation you have, the more likely you are to fight off dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory loss.
Social interaction is a great way to keep your mind active. Engaging with another person and carrying a conversation alone is helpful. It’s even better if you have someone who helps you learn new things and can hold a stimulating conversation.
4. More Active Lifestyle
As we mentioned above, people who get isolated and sedentary tend to stay that same. The opposite is true too. If you’re active in your later years, you’re more likely to retain more of your physical health.
Social relationships tend to lend themselves to more activity. You’re more likely to go out, take walks, and enjoy the bowling alley or cafe if you’re there with someone.
5. Physical Effects of Positivity
They say that laughter is the best medicine, and there’s truth to that saying.
A positive outlook can have a powerful impact on your health. It’s known to reduce your stress level. This decreases your blood pressure, which is one of the key numbers that affect your health.
Lower stress also helps you sleep better, lets your immune system function at its best, and more. There’s no shortage of ways a smile helps your health, and a social circle can give you that smile.
6. Life Enrichment
After retirement, your time is your own. Your obligations are few and you finally have the time you wished for during your career.
That new free time can be jarring. If you put your social life into high gear, though, the change can be a positive one.
Spending time with others gives you an opportunity to try a new hobby or learn a skill. They have their own hobbies and interests to share with you. On top of that, it’s easier to step outside your comfort zone and try something new if someone is with you.
This is especially true at an assisted living community. Facilities like ours have a variety of activities and social engagements that are easy for residents to access.
7. Healthy Peer Pressure
In your teenage days, you probably heard warnings from your teachers about the dangers of peer pressure. As it turns out, peer pressure can be positive too.
If you surround yourself with the right social group, they can push you to live your best life.
Your friends can help you follow healthy habits like exercising and eating right. They can introduce you to volunteer opportunities. You may be surprised how much you enjoy doing this with your friends too.
8. Have a Reason to Take Care of Yourself
We all know what we have to do to take care of ourselves on a daily basis. Sometimes you need a push to encourage you to keep up with it all, though.
Having a social life gives you that encouragement. You have to keep your home in order if you have friends come over. You also have to maintain your personal hygiene if you have a social life.
Making Your Golden Years Golden
As you get older, it’s easy to get tired of all the instructions. Your doctors are telling you what pills to take. Your family may be telling you how to care for your home or how to be safe.
With that in mind, this is one piece of advice you’ll be thankful for. Allow yourself to indulge in a social life.
Make friends. Go out. Have fun.
You’ll reap the benefits in your health and your quality of life.
One of the best ways to ramp up your social life is in a community that’s built for seniors. Learn more about our assisted living and senior living communities.