When it comes to older adult health, experts in the field are quick to share best practices and advice on maintaining physical wellness, utilizing habits such as a good diet, exercise, balance and flexibility training and more. Occasionally, keeping an active social life is included in this list for its potential to get seniors moving and improving cognitive health. Although these benefits of social activity are great, socialization has so much more to offer aging adults.
“Socialization is like the secret ingredient that makes a healthy senior lifestyle come together,” says Michael Rambarose, President and CEO of Whitney Center, a Life Care community in Hamden, CT. “Although, its psychological benefits shouldn’t be kept secret. We encourage the seniors that we serve and work with to make their social lives a priority. The people and loved ones we share life with can give everything else we do more meaning.”
Are you curious about how staying social can benefit your psychological well-being? We invite you to read on and learn more.
5 Worthwhile Benefits of Socialization
Socializing – and the meaningful connections it creates – has many more benefits than getting you out of the house or keeping your brain stimulated, though this benefit can’t be overstated. Experts have proven that socialization among older adults not only keeps the brain sharp, but it can even decrease the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to the cognitive health benefits, socialization provides important, life-enriching psychological benefits as well, such as:
- Improved Mental Health
Many aging adults are at risk of being isolated, which is one of the leading causes of depression among seniors. Isolation and loneliness can elicit feelings of despair or worthlessness. Socialization combats these depressive situations and allows people to feel loved and valued. The people we interact with and the activities we do in society affirm our sense of worth. When you spend time with others, you not only avoid isolation, but you also have plenty of opportunities to keep a healthy mental state and positive outlook.
- Sense of Belonging
Feeling like we belong somewhere is just as important during our senior years as it was during adolescence. It’s important to know that we have people to whom we can turn to share life’s ups and downs. Especially for those who may have lost a close friend or a spouse, the need to belong could feel more intense. Socializing with other people can help cultivate new friendships and lasting bonds as you participate in meaningful life events together.
- Increased Self-Esteem
It’s common for self-esteem to dwindle as we experience the difficulties of aging. We can feel embarrassed or frustrated with ourselves when we have trouble doing as much as we used to. However, the more we socialize and join in activities with other people, the more we benefit from feeling as though we still contribute to our communities. Positive interactions of any kind help us feel more confident in ourselves as we learn to recognize the important traits and talents that don’t disappear with age.
We all need others to hold us accountable at some point in our lives. For aging adults, their social circles can act as accountability partners to ensure they continue to take care of themselves. If we keep to ourselves, it’s easy to slip into bad habits of declining self-care. Socializing, on the other hand, gives us reasons to keep up with self-care and prioritize our personal health.
- Purposeful Living
When we have somewhere to go, something important to do and people to see, it helps us feel like our lives have purpose. A robust social life can help us get up in the morning with excitement and anticipation for what lies ahead. The strong connections we have with others create meaning in our lives, giving us a greater sense of fulfillment just by being close to each other. Spending quality time with those we care about reminds us that life is worthwhile.
Grow Your Social Group
“Finding a place where socialization is naturally effortless is a main reason for seniors to move to a community setting,” says Rambarose. “Oftentimes, seniors find that friends and neighbors move away, their children don’t live close by, and their neighborhoods are changing. This not only promotes isolation, but it makes it difficult – especially for those who might have health issues that keep them homebound – to get out there and find new social connections. Moving to a senior living community can be the best solution for isolated seniors.”
At Whitney Center, social connections abound. Neighbors are active and interested in a variety of activities. Social opportunities are constantly unfolding through planned events, resident-organized clubs, and just day-to-day life throughout the community. We make it easy to find people who share your interests and discover new ways to connect with people.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of socialization, or hearing about the opportunities available at Whitney Center, reach out to our team today!
Discover Excellence in Senior Living.
At Whitney Center, you’ll find a distinguished senior living community where residents do what they love. Located in Hamden, Connecticut, Whitney Center combines all the cultural, educational and historical charms of the Greater New Haven area with the intricate details of daily life for active seniors. Whitney Center is a Life Care community, offering not just an unparalleled independent living lifestyle, but a full continuum of care services as well, including assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing care and memory care. Whitney Center even offers a home-based long-term care program, Thrive at Home, which connects seniors to the services they need to live well in their own home.
Choice. Freedom. Opportunity.
We believe that remaining engaged and striving for excellence builds a more meaningful life. That’s why residents experience a host of services and amenities, events and cultural opportunities and wellness programs designed to foster endless growth and personalized living. Backed by our first-rate hospitality and philosophy of continuous improvement, our residents are free to travel, learn, volunteer, set new goals and create the life they want to live.
Come Here to Thrive.
At Whitney Center, residents live in the midst of cultural arts and education and dignified connections to the greater community. Seniors thrive in pursuit of what brings them joy, with unlimited opportunities to create and contribute. And, with the confidence in quality care services available on site if health needs ever change, Whitney Center makes it possible for seniors to continue enjoying the freedom to embrace life at its fullest.