It’s been said that a friend is the nicest thing you can have—and also be! Being around people you like and enjoy is one of life’s treasures, and it’s no surprise that in addition to just making special times even better, spending time with good companions is good for you in many ways. And it’s just another reason why choosing a welcoming senior living community as your retirement home is such a good idea.
Socializing for older adults: It can brighten your world.
They call it “social capital”—the connections you make with people you can trust and depend on. It can be a challenge to maintain as we age, simply because we often lose touch with former colleagues, neighbors, or acquaintances. Yet, it’s never too late to make new friends and connect with others.
Having positive social support can reduce stress, ward off anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of some physical health concerns. Cognitive abilities decline more slowly for those who regularly socialize. Memory is enhanced as well. Building up your social capital and staying connected with those around you, whether in person or online, is good medicine.
- Promotes mental health and emotional well-being.
Doing better together is literally in our genes. Dr. Craig Sawchuk, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic psychologist, says, “We are social animals by nature, so we tend to function better when we’re in a community setting and being around others.” In fact, socialization is considered one of the most effective ways to protect our mental health as we age. According to studies by the American Public Health Association, socialization improves mood, cognition, and memory recall, and is associated with healthy behaviors, including exercise. Connecting with family and friends through technology, exercise, games like bingo and cards, and other activities can have a profound effect on the mental health of seniors.
Whether you’re swapping stories about grandchildren or discussing world events, having an interesting mix of people around keeps your brain energized. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends seniors connect with others to help maintain brain activity and stave off dementia. Connecting with others:
- Keeps your mind active.
Solitaire can be fun, but compare it to a regular bridge game or bingo where you are with others having a good time. Billiards and darts are great ways to mingle. Exercise classes put you with others who can help you stay motivated and engaged. A regular video call with long-distance family keeps you caught up on family news and lets you stay connected. Your noggin is engaged in all the right ways!
- Gives you something to look forward to.
This is especially easy in a senior living community such as Senior Star, where there are countless activities and events that make socializing for older adults easy and convenient. Book clubs. Outings. Birthday parties. Concerts. Movies. Holiday celebrations. Morning coffee with friends. When you know someone is waiting to see you, it’s a lot easier to get up and get moving. You’re looking ahead and you have a purpose, which is great for self-esteem.
- Introduces you to new experiences.
Maybe you’ve never considered visiting a certain landmark. Or attending opera. Or going to a classic car show. Meeting someone with different interests can have a very positive impact on your mental outlook and open up the world in new ways. Volunteering also offers a great opportunity for socializing for older adults that is beneficial both mentally and physically.
Senior living and socializing are a natural fit—one that can be very good for you. At Senior Star, you can immerse yourself into a comfortable and beautiful community of warm, friendly faces. Schedule a virtual or in-person tour. Questions about Senior Star and our senior living communities? Contact us. Download our free Guide: Family Decision Toolkit.