As one gets older, they begin to have limited opportunities to socialize, mainly due to isolation and loneliness. Regular social interaction is still important for the elderly as it can lead to a happier life and good mental health.
Encourage your loved one to maintain good physical and emotional health by staying socially active. Socialization can also help with dementia care for senior citizens by reducing agitation levels.
Here are other factors that contribute to the importance of social interaction for seniors:
Five Benefits of Socialization For The Elderly
1. Lowers The Risk of Depression
When seniors are isolated, they often keep their negative emotions bottled up instead of having someone to talk with and have the support or advice they need. Failing to interact with other people can increase the risk of becoming depressed.
However, if they have the chance to interact with others, they can speak openly about the things happening in their lives, either good or bad. It will let them think about something else instead of focusing on things that can cause them anxiety.
They should have mental engagement, socialization, and other beneficial lifestyle factors to help them manage their stress levels and avoid the development of serious illnesses.
2. Prevents Heart Conditions
Since high blood pressure is associated with heart disease, encourage the elderly to engage with other people to help lower their blood pressure and improve circulation. When senior citizens are social, they are more likely to join group physical activities that can boost their heart health.
Here are some engaging physical activities they can participate in:
Dance classes are a great opportunity for seniors to be with friends and meet other people. You can opt for a class in an exercise facility, or have them join an online dance class to let them socialize even in times of social distancing.
Being able to maintain social ties while exercising can help them feel a sense of belonging and purpose and avoid feeling lonely or depressed. When they find an exercise routine they love, it won’t have to feel like a chore.
Aside from being safe, senior bike riding features many health benefits. It can help them avoid illnesses, stay mentally alert and meet more people when they join organized cycling groups. It can also help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Gardening helps lower the risk of dementia, strengthen their muscles, and also reduces stress. It also helps put them in a good mood as gardening helps lower cortisol levels and increases serotonin.
3. Leads To Healthier Habits
Having a social life helps seniors pick up healthy habits like eating healthy and exercising, so they can continue with their social activities like volunteering and joining clubs. It will help boost their overall health as well as their social interaction with others.
Some healthier habits for senior citizens include:
Getting enough sleep
They can prevent insomnia by maintaining a proper sleep schedule every day. When they have an activity to look forward to in the morning, they tend to be committed to it and opt to have proper sleep to gain more energy.
Staying physically active
Social activities will have them moving either by short walks or some errands that will make them exercise more. Active seniors are generally happy, and a constant good mood will help improve their overall well-being.
4. Boosts Brain Health
Social interaction can help improve their communication skills and prevent their brain from being inactive. It can keep them mentally aware of their environment and intellectually engaged. Being socially active can combat age-related challenges and enhance their quality of life.
Constant socialization serves as an exercise for their brain as it keeps them agile and improves their cognitive skills. A close-knit group of friends can help them be encouraged to remain active in their lives, and even daily chats with family members can contribute to their mental health benefits.
5. Improves Their Feeling of Belonging
Companionship, in general, contributes to a great sense of belonging. Senior citizens should maintain good friendships as they can help prevent a person from feeling left out or depressed. Simply listening to their friend or learning a hobby with them can help them feel productive and give them a renewed sense of purpose.
Help an elderly member of your family enhance their social skills to let them lead a more engaging and productive life. Prevent social isolation, physical inactivity, and illnesses by encouraging them to be active and spend time continuously learning and enjoying with other people.