Research indicates that an active social lifestyle helps older individuals to maintain a sharp mind and stay connected to the world around them. Seniors who are active also develop a sense of belonging and happiness. Medical scientists reporting at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, who studied the relationship between dementia, stress, and socialization, found that “people who are socially active and not easily stressed may be less likely to develop dementia”.
Socialization is critical for people of all ages, but seniors are often prone to isolation. At retirement age the opportunities for socialization often decrease, especially for someone who must rely on others for needs, especially transportation.
Researchers writing in the Annals of Family Medicine concluded that: “Social contact may be as effective as physical activity in improving mood and quality of life” and “social participation and social support networks are paramount to long-term positive outcomes and psychological well-being for older people”.
Multiple studies indicate that an active social life can:
- boost the immune system
- reduce physical pain
- reduce depression
- lower blood pressure
It is common for seniors to resist change, and some may need encouragement to get more socially involved, but the benefits of an active social lifestyle reach well into the future. At Warm Valley Lodge, we often see huge improvements in wellbeing among new residents, because of the quality food, exercise, increased activities/socialization and medication management.