Maintaining an active and fulfilling social life can be challenging as you grow older. Many seniors face barriers that make it harder to get out and see people regularly — from health concerns keeping people at home to the devastating loss of relationships after friends pass away.
Overcoming these obstacles (and others like them) can be daunting. You may even believe it’s not worth the effort to talk to new people once you hit a certain age. But this article is about changing your mind.
Socializing plays an important role in your health and happiness as a senior. Keep reading to find out all about how a busy social life can help you.
1. Decreases Your Risk of Dementia
While genetics play a part in whether you get dementia, very few forms of dementia are purely hereditary. Instead, dementia care experts look at common lifestyle factors that increase your risk of getting the disease as you grow older.
One of those risk factors is loneliness. According to the CDC, seniors experiencing social isolation face a 50% higher risk of dementia than those with a robust social life.
With strong ties between your brain health and social life, it’s important to invest in social activities. If you live in a large city like Mississauga, you can find senior social clubs and meetups that make it easier to find like-minded people in your age group. They’ll organize card games, volunteering, and special events that can help keep you engaged.
Specialists providing dementia care in Mississauga recognize how important it is to keep in touch with loved ones even if you’ve been diagnosed with the disease. The best dementia care Mississauga has to offer is committed to improving your quality of life, regardless of your diagnosis. And regular social engagement helps you live joyfully with dementia.
2. Fends Off the Blues
Poor mental health and social isolation go hand in hand, not just for seniors. Anyone experiencing social isolation faces greater risks of depression, anxiety, and even suicide, regardless of age.
Human beings aren’t meant to live alone; we’re hard-wired to need the company of others for our physical and emotional health — even if you consider yourself an introvert. Everyone benefits from having good friends you can rely on for laughs, advice, and support.
While it can be difficult to socialize when you’re feeling low, staying connected with others is essential. You may have to put yourself into uncomfortable situations at first, but you’ll thank yourself as you gain new friends. They’ll help you get out of the house and find enjoyment in your golden years.
3. Avoid Nasty Falls
Having a strong social life is a smart idea for any senior, especially those who live alone. Seniors who live on their own and have few social contacts face an increased risk of falls — up to 24% more than those who live with others or have busy social lives.
Close friends and family provide a support network you can call up when you need help with certain tasks or chores. More importantly, they’ll know your schedule. They’ll know to check up on you if you’re suspiciously absent at special events or avoiding your phone, so they can check in on you.
Staying active is an important part of staying healthy as a senior. Your social life could be key to reducing your risk of dementia, depression, and falls.