The Importance of Socialization for the Elderly

Socialization is important for the elderly.

The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” – Allan K. Chalmers

The retirement years can be the best time of your life. It is a season when you should be enjoying the fruits of your many years of labor.

For most of us, the key to happiness during the retirement years is staying connected to others. Not surprisingly, retirement communities have become a popular choice for those who want both a stress-free life, as well as opportunities to be involved with people of their own age.

Numerous studies show that “socially connected” seniors typically enjoy overall good health, prolonged survival from serious illness and greater longevity. As we age, socialization plays an even more important role in maintaining health and contentment. It is true that “no man is an island.” We need an active social life even more as we grow older. If you are in your 60s or older, it’s important to maintain a strong social network to help you stay relevant, to provide a sense of belonging, to keep away mental illness, and to create a positive frame of mind. Further, meeting people on a regular basis gives a sense of contentment and purpose.

Years of studies have shown that social isolation is unhealthy for people at any age. It can lead to depression, dementia, and a number of other complications. When you are alone, you’re more likely to feel depressed and sad. Being alone can also lead to malnutrition, because preparing a meal may seem like too much trouble. So, the bottom line is that good friends are good for your health; and it is never too late to make new friends. Strong friendships help maintain your self-worth and happiness. Socializing not only contributes to a longer, happier life, but it also improves cognitive performance. Of course, we all want to live longer while remaining healthy and alert. Adding a circle of new friends will help enrich your life in innumerable ways.

Unfortunately, as you age, you may be at risk for isolation. Many times, illness or loss of a spouse can further remove you from activities that the two of you once enjoyed. This is compounded if you are no longer able to drive. On the other hand, living in a senior community provides valuable opportunities to foster good health, provide a physically active lifestyle, and promote social connections. Such relationships improve your sense of well-being and yet suppress depression. For optimum mental health, it’s important to have something to look forward to each day. Living in a senior community, you have the opportunity to encounter someone who is from your part of the country, has travelled to the same places or has the same hobby.

We have all heard the saying, “people need people.” This becomes even more evident as we age. In fact, seniors face the challenge of maintaining friendships and/or finding other people from their generation who share common experiences, interests, and hobbies. Yet, a healthy aging process through your retirement years depends greatly on this peer interaction. All told, successful senior living is all about dignity, quality of life, and freedom of choice.

Consider the relaxed, stress-free lifestyle you can experience in an independent senior community, where you may interact with others and begin new friendships. In such an environment, loneliness cannot last long. Senior living communities provide interesting and stimulating opportunities designed especially for seniors. Visit an independent senior community for yourself and learn how to make the most of your retirement years.