Loneliness is one of the most common causes of mental health problems as we get older. Many seniors find that once they’ve retired and left the day-to-day bustle of the workplace, it becomes harder to stay in touch with people, or even to get out of the house regularly. This is made worse if family members have moved around the world, and if friends have started to pass away, which is, unfortunately, more common as we get older. Many seniors find that they are losing social connections and struggling to make new ones and feeling trapped by loneliness. Here’s a look at five of the health benefits of socialization in later life, as well as some ideas on how to make some new connections.
Social Connections Encourage Exercise
When you feel alone, it’s hard to leave the house, never mind join exercise groups and clubs, and social connections and exercise so often come together. It’s easier to join local exercise classes or walking groups if you can do it with a friend, but these groups are also great ways to make new friends and connections.
Having a Social Life is Great for Your Mental Health
Not having people to talk to often means that we get trapped inside our own heads and that those voices, which aren’t often kind to us, start to get louder and drown out more positive thoughts. The simple act of talking to someone, whether it’s a friend, neighbor, or a be-friending volunteer, is a great way to care for our mental health.
You’re More Likely to Try New Things
As we get older, we get very set in our ways. This can lead to a lack of variation and boredom, even reduce our quality of life, and harm our familial relationships. Trying new things keeps your mind open and your brain young, it can improve your quality of life, encourage exercise, and give you more to think about.
We’re far more likely to try new things, whether foods, experience, or visiting new places, if we’ve got someone to do it with. Many seniors that move into senior living suddenly find their world gets much bigger. Sharing experiences is one of the main reasons why senior living St Louis residents at St. Louis Hills enjoy such a great quality of life.
Older Adults with Friends Take Better Care of Themselves
When we stop seeing people and stop doing things, we can easily fall into a rut. We stop making an effort with our appearance, hygiene isn’t something that we worry about as much, and we can almost forget the importance of taking care of ourselves. Older adults that have friends and connections are more likely to look after themselves and make an effort, which can lead to a happier and healthier life.
People Spot Problems
One of the main health benefits of being around people is that other people are often more likely to spot the warning signs of things like dementia and other progressive health conditions than we are ourselves. Often, spotting a problem early is the best way to avoid a more serious issue.
Being around people, whether in groups, at an assisted living facility, or even talking to people virtually is extremely important to a senior’s health and the importance of social connections should never be underestimated.