Staying Social Supports Healthy Aging
Most of us understand the importance of keeping up our physical health. Eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise and regular health checks are common recommendations for preserving and even restoring health and happiness for the long-term. However, it’s equally important to prioritize our emotional and social health.
Maintaining a healthy social life is fundamental for most people, but even more so for older adults who can be more prone to isolation than other age groups. Today, the risks of social isolation are well-known; not only can it lead to depression and higher levels of stress, but poor social interactions can negatively impact our physical health. Conversely, people with healthy social lives tend to have stronger immune systems, cognitive function and heart health—and, they tend to live longer overall.
Despite the health benefits of staying social, several factors can make it difficult to prioritize relationships as we age. For example, physical limitations may make it hard to travel or go out as often, so it’s hard to make time for new and old friends. Isolation can become more of an issue as children grow up and move farther away, or older family members pass away. During these more trying times, it becomes increasingly crucial to focus on building and strengthening relationships, including new ones.
Here are a few ways to help avoid social isolation and prioritize a healthy social life:
Volunteer in Your Community
Community service is a wonderful way to get out of the house and meet new people. It’s a healthy way to meet people of all ages and give back to others in your neighborhood or town. Local municipalities often post volunteer opportunities, but you can also reach out to a nonprofit group you’re interested in and ask how you can get involved—often, they can use a hand.
Attend Classes or Workshops
Lifelong learning has proven benefits for cognitive health and connects people who share interests. Check your local paper, the bulletin board at a nearby community center or online for ideas about upcoming workshops. If you’re interested in a more rigorous class schedule, contact nearby universities and colleges to learn about their lifelong learning programs or how to register for a normal semester.
Join a Social Club
There are several ways to become a member of social clubs in your community. While some groups might require a small membership fee, there are still plenty of activities around town that welcome new people. Many senior living communities, religious groups and recreation centers welcome members of the public for weekly or monthly activities like bridge, Mah Jong, water aerobics and more.
If you’re looking to add more activities to your own calendar or have concerns that a loved one could benefit from a more robust social life, take a look at our upcoming events at One Wingate Way. We host a variety of educational workshops, social gatherings and exercise classes that provide a great opportunity to meet new people and enjoy time at our community.
As an all-independent living community, our residents enjoy their day however they please—with access to our state-of-the-art amenities and concierge services. Independent senior living is a popular choice for those who don’t need additional care but would enjoy more social activities with like-minded neighbors. Click here to contact our team at One Wingate Way today—we’d love to answer any of your questions!