Exercise, healthy eating and adequate sleep are all important to the health of older adults. But is spending time with friends equally important?
Oxford University research suggests that older adults who have social connections to other residents of senior living communities feel healthier and live longer. Other research points to a wider social circle as a major indicator of mental health for seniors.
In this blog, we’ll explore how socialization enhances seniors’ quality of life, helps them stay active, and strengthens their interpersonal connections.
The Risks of Isolation for Seniors
People are inherently social, but older adults tend to suffer from isolation and loneliness more often than others. According to the UCSF Division of Geriatrics, 43% of seniors regularly feel lonely.
The effects of senior isolation are far-reaching. Isolation degrades one’s physical health over time, in addition to its impact on mood and mental health. Health problems are also more likely to affect those with limited social lives. Some of those health problems may include cognitive impairment, anxiety or depression and heart disease.
The good news is that being proactive about staying engaged throughout the day will protect seniors from these negative effects of loneliness and isolation. A full social life can benefit senior health in many ways, including:
- Lower stress and anxiety levels
- Reduced risk of depression
- Enhanced self-esteem
- Increased longevity
Evidence also shows that those with a healthy social network are more likely to exercise regularly, which in turns lead to enhanced physical and cognitive benefits. Socialization can also help to prevent general cognitive decline through mental stimulation and intellectual engagement.
The power of socialization is undeniable, but for many, socialization doesn’t just happen on its own. It is something that requires both intent and commitment.
- Make an effort to maintain connections with friends and family through regular phone calls, video chats and gatherings
- Explore volunteer opportunities that fit your skills to help build connections to the local community
- Become involved with the local senior center or religious and charitable organizations
- Find online or in-person special interest groups – think fitness classes, book clubs or knitting groups – to connect with those who have similar interests or hobbies
- Take a lifelong learning class at a local college or university
- Move into a senior living community like Waterstone of Lexington that offers a multitude of daily social engagements and opportunities
At Waterstone of Lexington, we will offer a full array of amenities and services to help residents thrive. These include many socially rich settings such as:
- Indoor heated pool and fitness center staffed by Train Boston® fitness and aquatic instructors
- Mind-body studio and juice bar
- Full-service salon
- Art studio and library
- Anytime dining at our restaurant featuring seasonal selections
- Movie theater
- Putting green and firepit
- Local transportation services
- Regularly scheduled cultural, social and recreational programs
Waterstone of Lexington: Your New Forwarding Address.
Waterstone of Lexington – opening fall 2022 – will offer a modern approach to retirement living in a historical setting with full amenities and services. Come see how we redefine independent living and assisted living with a visit to our Welcome Center in Belmont.