Seniors: Get a (Social) Life
As we get older, it’s easy to focus on the physical. Many days revolve around doctor visits, medication times and the way our body is feeling. Emphasis is placed on physical capability and staying as physically active as possible – but studies show that social activity can be just as important for the overall health.
Isolation is a major issue for many seniors who live alone. Maybe it’s not as easy to get out and about. Maybe a spouse has passed, and socializing with friends just doesn’t hold the same appeal anymore. But isolation and a decreased social life quickly leads to depression, poor nutrition (many who live alone don’t make cooking/eating a priority), and even increased memory loss.
An article by BrightStar Care quotes that “Socialization plays a large role in maintaining quality of life as one ages. Research has shown that those older adults, who have strong social networks, seem to have a higher quality of life, live longer and are healthier compared to those with little social support (Glass, Mendes de Leon, Marottolie & Berkman, 1999). Also, studies have shown that strong social support seems to protect against cognitive decline and self-reported disability (Mendes de Leon, Glass, & Berkman, 2003). The “use-it or lose it” theory seems to be true—social engagement may stimulate multiple body systems including the cognitive, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular systems.” (Click here to view the article.)
Those who make their home in a senior living community have built-in social lives. New friends are just down the hall – not a drive across town. Meals are not only at regular, convenient times – they’re a social affair in and of themselves. And with activities and events happening all the time, there’s something for every interest and ability level. Minds stay engaged, spirits stay lifted, and outlook stays positive. (There’s always something going on at Melrose Meadows – check out our activity calendar to see for yourself!)
A vibrant social life? It’s a major piece of the puzzle for healthy seniors. And senior living communities – both Independent and Assisted Living – make it easy to have one.