For many senior citizens, the idea of watching the telly from the comfort of the couch may be more appealing than a walk with a friend, or a movie night. But if you knew that having an active social life could positively impact your health and longevity, you might think again.
Maintaining an active social life can fall to the bottom of a senior citizen’s list of priorities for many reasons, including mobility or health problems and a lack of energy or confidence. Over time, isolation becomes habitual, and it becomes harder to reach out to others at all. Loneliness takes a heavy toll on the body and mind, increasing the risk of depression and disease, which makes getting involved in social activities essential for the elderly.
Here are just a few of the benefits of having an active social life:
- It lowers the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Studies suggest that staying socially active is an effective way to keep your brain healthy for longer. Connecting with others regularly can keep your mind engaged and working well.
- It helps fight depression and stress
Meeting up with friends and like-minded people is important because everyone needs a support network with which to share your feelings, worries and, of course, a good laugh. There is a much emotional strength to be gained from regular contact with others, and realising that you can have as positive an impact on others’ lives as they do on yours.
- Better physical health
Studies have proven that getting out and about with friends benefits every aspect of physical health. Staying active reduces your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, which should be reason enough to get off the couch and make plans to meet up with others.
If you’re wondering how to reach out and connect, here are a few ideas:
- Get in touch with local community centres. You’ll find that many offer outings for the elderly, game evenings and shopping trips.
- Join a hobby club such as a knitting circle or gardening club.
- Hit the gym. Group classes such as hydrotherapy are particularly beneficial for senior citizens as you can socialise and get fit. Win-win!
- Volunteer at a primary school or kindergarten. Children keep us young at heart and on our toes.
There are many ways to stay active within your community, and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come. Having an active social life is the key to a long, happy life and remaining independent for longer. Need help getting connected to social activities? Get in touch with Care Connect today!
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