Studies showed that social support plays a major role in the healthy aging of individuals. Time spent with family and friends can significantly improve the quality of life in an individual. Benefits are seen not just in one’s emotional health but also in one’s physical and mental wellness.
A person with close friends throughout his life has access to a space filled with compassion and trust. Friends become more important as people age. If you want to celebrate all your beloved friends, you can particularly do so every Best Friend Day which falls every June 8. Best Friend Day is a beautiful holiday because friendships that nourish and enrich our lives deserve to be celebrated.
How important is it for older adults to have good friends? Can you plan a life where you always have social support every step of the way? This post will answer the following questions and more.
Social Capital: Importance for Seniors
Social capital is an essential factor in one’s social life. It is the different types of personal connections that an individual engages in that builds trust and support participation. The better one’s social capital is, the better his well-being will be. It becomes a point of adjustment as people age.
Social capital decreases through time. For retired individuals, their social capital significantly decreases because of their reduced contact with former colleagues, moving away of loved ones, and deaths of friends and family members. The continuous lessening and loss of social contacts directly impact one’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
One’s health is affected when social capital decreases because social capital promotes healthy behaviors. Social capital can make a person quit smoking, walk more via visiting neighbors, and look for health screenings after hearing from friends who shared and recommended. The more connected a person is, the more alive the person will feel. Being part of a community of compassion and trust is essential to one’s well-being.
Health Benefits of Socializing
Seniors who continuously socialize will experience the following benefits:
- Stress reduction – the more socialized a person is, the less stress a person will feel.
- Lesser anxiety – the more connected a person is, the more grounded he or she will be in discerning differing perspectives of the mind.
- Lesser chances of experiencing depression – the more open a person is to conversations and meetings with friends, the lesser the chances that a person will experience depression.
- Reduced chances of physical diseases – studies revealed that people with good social capital have good physical health.
- Improved memory – socialization can improve one’s ability to recall and overall memory health.
- Improved longevity – people that socialize have longer lifespans.
Experts shared that a person’s cognitive health can significantly improve through particular kinds of interaction. One study even revealed that individuals with frequent social interaction experience a slower decline of cognitive abilities by 70%. That means that people with regular interaction with others can be 70% healthier when it comes to cognitive abilities. Those with little to no social interactions experience a faster decline in cognitive abilities.
Data showed that seniors who participate in group exercises are physically healthier and have an increased lifespan.
Seniors can find support from family members. However, it’s not the case for some.
Seniors who live alone and live far away from their families should find a way to socialize and connect with others. Aging individuals must grab all possible chances of building new relationships with people. Seniors often find chances for socialization in senior centers and community groups.
Seniors can also easily have good social capital if they will stay in senior living communities. Senior living communities can offer the following perks that promote good social capital:
- daily interaction with different number of people
- time around a number of different people
- constant company of a consistent group
- group exercises
- group meals
- group parties
- group tours
- group excursions
There are numerous senior living communities like Geelong aged care that can provide a consistent boost to one’s social capital.
Seniors can also stay connected to others by joining organizations and volunteering.
You will have so many options and chances for socialization if you will choose to stay open.
Life is so beautiful and it is meant to be celebrated every day. If you’re aging and you feel like your social capital is significantly decreasing, there is still so much hope. You can duly do the following:
- Enroll in language classes – through such, your mental health will be kept sharp and you’d get to effortlessly converse and connect with your teachers and classmates
- Use social media – now, you can stay connected to your loved ones even if they are not near. You can even easily see them anytime. Use social media to connect to family and friends. You can even join online forums that discuss topics of your interest.
- Jog or walk daily – you will increase your chances of meeting individuals and connecting with neighbors if you will walk around your community. Walking is a fantastic form of exercise that will give you many health benefits. It will also send a clear message to everyone that you are an active part of the community.
As the saying goes, when there is a will, there is a way. Just stay open and always keep a positive frame of mind. You can do it!