The Benefits of Being Social for Older Americans

The Benefits of Being Social for Older Americans

In Communication, Family & Relationships, Health, Hearing Health, Mental Health, Tips & Tricks by Candace Wawra

Candace Wawra

You know already that a number of health benefits are gained by remaining physically active in your older years, including reducing chronic pain, delaying and deterring certain diseases, and assisting you in recovering from illness or injury more quickly. But while physical activity is essential for maintaining a high quality of life, the bonds you make with others, and the relationships you continue to develop also have a major effect on your general wellbeing.

Sustaining an active social life may be more of a struggle the older you get, but the benefits are well worth the effort. Here are some reasons for keeping an active social life as you age.

  1. Staying socially connected with others can reduce the risk of depression. Depression disproportionately affects older adults, so it is important to find methods to fight this as you age. The maintenance of an active social life may help prevent the loneliness and alienation that may cause depression.
  2. Cognitive function be improved from social activity. Keeping a sharp mind is a concern for anyone, but it becomes of particular importance as we get closer to our twilight years. Cognitive health can be improved by simply talking to friends or participating in a social group on a continual basis. Recent studies show that this regular social interaction can strengthen cognitive function and can even lower the risk of Alzheimer’s.
  3. It can also arrest health issues, according to a 2011 study. Members of the study with an active social life established health problems at a slower or later pace than people who led more withdrawn lifestyles.
  4. You can also boost physical health by being social. Even if you do not regard your social activity as physical activity, it does end up getting you out of the house and moving your body. Even small amounts of regular walking and standing can strengthen the body and keep it physically fit as you age.
  5. There is also the chance to reduce blood pressure and stress.   Socialising with people you enjoy the company of helps to lower your blood pressure and your risk of a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack.

Ways to increase social interactions

Help others. If you are physically capable, volunteer work can lead to a sense of fulfilment and significance.

Continue working. Even going to work in a part-time job can keep your mind active and keep you regularly engaged with others.

Find a club or group to join. Whether it is a creative writing club, a gardening group or a swimming meet up, these events provide a perfect way for new people to meet each other and share experiences.

Learn something new. Register for a class at a community college or adult education centre. As you communicate and keep your brain engaged, you will learn something new.

Get active. As already mentioned, it is very important for seniors to be physically active. Joining a gym can provide the motivation to work out regularly and help you meet other people within group classes.

Connect with family. Offering help with babysitting and seeing other family members can keep your brain active and help banish social isolation.

Hearing aids can help

Although remaining socially active is important, it is very hard to do if you have a hearing loss. If you’re thinking of doing any of the activities described above and have a hearing loss, hearing aids can help. If you have appropriate hearing treatment, you are more likely to participate in social activities involving other people and take part in structured social activities. This is mainly because of your confidence to act naturally in any social environment because of the ability to hear better.

People treating their hearing loss with hearing aids find that they also have more meaningful conversations and relationships with others. Among a study of individuals with hearing loss by the Better Hearing Institute, hearing aid wearers enjoy significantly better social connections than people who don’t wear hearing aids.

Hearing Wellness Solutions

Speak with our certified hearing experts at Hearing Wellness Solutions. We conduct comprehensive hearing tests. If a loss of hearing is found, we will help you find the right treatment that fits perfectly in your life, helping connect you with your loved ones and others around you.