Have you ever noticed that the happiest, most confident young people are those with meaningful relationships with their family and friends? For most kids, and even young adults, this social interaction is easy breezy and comes naturally. But as we age, making friends and building relationships with other people gets harder and harder. This can be because of busy schedules, declining health, mobility limitations or lack of energy. But good socialization later in life is just as important as meeting physical needs.
Here are 5 ways socialization benefits older adults.
- Sense of Belonging
Socialization among older adults creates a sense of belonging. This is important at all stages of life, but especially later in life. When time is spent with other people who have been through similar life-experiences, such as the loss of a spouse, losing independence, or even having similar medical struggles, senior adults find support in newly cultivated friendships resulting in long-lasting bonds.
- Increased Self-Esteem
Positive self-esteem is a struggle at any age, but when you’re an older adult it can become difficult to maintain – especially if you’re alone. Studies show that social support should contain quality activities that promote positive self-awareness. Socialization among older people creates increased self-esteem when they feel part of a community by participating in activities and events with friends and family. Confidence and security in themselves and their abilities is gained.
- Accountability and Encouragement
Accountability from a friend or family member provides great motivation to maintain our well being. Socialization among older adults helps guard against bad habits that could have negative effects on health. Senior adults should maintain consistent social engagements for accountability and encouragement from friends and family. If it is known family or friends will be visiting, more effort will likely be put into proper hygiene and dressing nicely. Accountability through socialization gives an important reason to stay well.
- Reduced Stress and Less Anxiety
Socialization provides huge benefits for older adults by reducing stress and anxiety. Having a wide variety of social outlets contributes to psychological wellness by defeating problems such as depression and anxiety. When opportunities are provided for individuals to express themselves openly with family and friends, a type of “mental relief” is experienced, resulting in less stress and anxiety.
- Supports Brain Health
Studies show that social interaction supports brain health and may even possibly delay the onset of dementia. Although researchers are not sure how socialization exactly affects the brain, it is known that huge positive effects have been seen among the more socially engaged. It also seems clear that relationships and social networks engage the brain and prevents a daydream state for older adults, keeping the brain active and resulting in a positive impact on cognitive function as people age.
The Traditions Difference
Socialization is a vital part of every day life at Traditions Senior Living. Opportunities and events are provided for our residents and their families to be involved in and stay active within the community. To hear more about specific events and socialization opportunities for our residents, visit our Facebook pages or call us at (615) 591-8231.