A life well lived includes many things and varies from person to person. Other than water, regular exercise, and a handful of other needs across the board, what brings us joy changes with the seasons, from one stage of life to the next, and differs between us and our loved ones. Some people enjoy playing golf while others prefer a great crib hand. Some enjoy big parties while others prefer quiet evenings with a few chosen friends. Whatever the scenario, they all include being social to varying degrees and offer several benefits for seniors especially.
Making new connections, as well as connecting with those you love and the community around you is just as important to healthy living as eating the right foods for healthy aging. From staving off loneliness that leads to depression, to physiological benefits, being social is good for the heart, mind and body.
Positive Mental Health
A positive outlook isn’t just about being happy all the time. It’s grounded in a practical approach to the day that inspires and energizes one to live well by making healthful choices. Socially active seniors have an easier time beating stress because they have a community to support them through the rough times; talking things through with a friend is a therapeutic way of managing the unexpected twists and turns of life. Being social, even if it’s just a weekly coffee with a friend or regularly scheduled phone call can give one something to look forward to and become a healthy regular habit.
Physiological Benefits of Being Social
Socializing can boost the immune system and lower blood pressure—but how?! Well, those happy, warm feelings you get when laughing with a good friend is a rush of endorphins. Those endorphins in turn help energize you, and you might feel more inclined to make healthier choices from what you eat to how you spend your time…exercising! Socializing can even help lower your risk of dementia by stimulating your cognitive functioning and therefore boost brain health.
Ways to be social for seniors
- Join one of Verve Senior Living’s many signature Life Enrichment programs, from fitness classes to games’ nights and book clubs, and discover new friends with similar interests. You might just discover something new about yourself, too!
- Consider adopting a pet. There are so many added benefits, like lower blood pressure and physical activity, but having a pet provides a great catalyst for social interaction.
- Take it one step at a time. No one is expecting you to be life of the party right away. Give yourself a little grace! Say hello or even just smile next time you see your neighbour. Then the next time, ask how their day is going. As nervous as you are, they might be feeling the exact same way.
Need a few extra tips? Brush up on our effective and easy tips for seniors to make friends and then consider putting one or all into play. We want you to be socially connected at Verve, which is all part of our mission to help you achieve vibrant living through feeling supported, connected and engaged.