Friendship is just as important in our elder years as it was when we were young. Being social has a positive affect both physically and mentally. Studies have found that socializing can strengthen your immune system, helping you recover quickly from illness. It can also reduce stress, lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, as well as sharpen your memory and help you get a better night’s sleep. Friends cause better overall health because they motivate healthy habits and keep your health on track by helping you stay vigilant. Being social can also improve your odds of living longer, according to one study, 50% of people with strong connections to friends and family have a greater chance of outliving those who don’t.
Being without social interaction and connections causes negative mental effects on people of all ages, but can be detrimental to those who are older. Loneliness has been linked to a higher risk of depression, dementia and cognitive decline. Back in 2015 one study famously concluded that lack of social relationships was as damaging to a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Simply talking to someone, receiving reassurance and praise and being around a person with a positive disposition is invaluable. Socializing and having strong friendships can lead to improved self-confidence, increased happiness and a better outlook on life.
When it comes to building relationships, experts suggest finding people who are supportive and have similar interests. Here are some good ways to meet new people:
Pitch in to help others or your community – it’s a chance to get out of the house and enjoy face-to-face interaction.
Take a Class
The options are endless; you can frequently find classes by searching online for topics that interest you. If you’re not sure where to get started, check out local organizations such as the YMCA to see what classes they provide.
Try an activity that will get you out of the house and moving around. Each Parkview community has a state-of-the-art fitness center available.
Get Involved with Your Faith Community
If you’re religious, check out events happening at your local place of worship. Many offer social gatherings specifically for seniors.
Connect Via Social Media
Sites like Facebook can help you find and reconnect with old friends and also join groups of things that interest you.
Cheer On Your Favorite Team
An easy way to find people with similar interests is connecting with fans, get out and watch your favorite team play in a local restaurant.
Walk a Dog
The beautiful grounds and walking trails of Parkview are great for dogs and great place to meet new dogs and their owners.
You can also attend art galleries, book readings, lectures, music recitals or join a choir!
Loneliness has a direct correlation to physical and mental health and it’s not a good one, but thankfully it can be alleviated. Taking steps toward actively being social and pursing good relationships will set you on a path towards a healthy mindset and lifestyle. Parkview Senior Living values friendship and socializing in their community and offers multiple amenities to help you become a social butterfly.