From an early age, we naturally value the importance of socialization. From playdates to sleepovers to after-work drinks with co-workers, we put friends and social engagements high on our priority list. It should be no surprise that socialization later in life is still an essential aspect of overall wellness and well-being.
In fact, socialization has been found to increase longevity. According to John O’Connor, editorial director, vice president, and associate publisher of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, “Older adults who are socially engaged…dramatically improve their chances of living to age 100, researchers in New Zealand have found.”
Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and health concerns, many older adults have had decreased socialization opportunities. The Pavilion Senior Living, with senior care communities throughout Tennessee and West Virginia, has a solution to this challenge. While new precautions and guidelines have been put in place, adults who live in a senior living community are far more connected to peers and have more opportunities for socialization than those who live elsewhere.
Benefits of Socialization in Older Adults
As simple as it may sound, a healthy social life is vital to living a long life. As humans, we are social creatures. When we are isolated from peers, feelings of loneliness, stress, and anxiety can take a toll on our mental health and physical health. Face-to-face contact with others can reduce our stress levels and has been shown to improve physical health.
Individuals who live in a senior living community, such as The Pavilion Senior Living, benefit from the socialization opportunities that are offered on a daily basis. From scheduled activities and engagements to everyday dining experiences, residents can feel a sense of community and connect with friends and neighbors.
Even during these uncertain times surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, adults who reside in a senior living community remain socially distant but connected to peers.
Increases Quality of Life and a Greater Sense of Purpose
Increased longevity is just one benefit of socialization in older adults. When we have a healthy social life, we feel a greater sense of purpose and an enhanced quality of life. A study published in the Annals of Family Medicine found that “social contact may be as effective as physical activity in improving mood and quality of life.” We feel responsibility and purpose when we interact with peers and participate in events and activities.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Supported brain health and the delay of memory loss have also shown to be a result of socialization among older adults. A significant part of socializing is participating in conversations and interacting, so individuals must keep their minds actively engaged. Keeping the mind active and engaged with peers through discussion and activities is a great way to improve cognitive functioning and reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Other Ways to Increase Longevity
An active social life may be an overlooked way to increase longevity among adults, but it is certainly not the only way to do this. Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle and keeping stress levels low has been proven to aid in a longer lifespan. Other ways to increase longevity include:
- Maintain a Healthy Diet – Consuming a diet that is high in vegetables, healthy fats, and antioxidants can improve the way our bodies function. When the body is able to function properly and get all the nutrients it needs, it can prevent chronic disease.
- Visit Your Doctor(s) Regularly – Doctor visits are not only for when something is “wrong.” Visiting the doctor for screenings and preventative care is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Keep Learning – When we are continuously learning, we keep our minds active, reducing the risk of developing dementia and improving overall cognitive functioning.
- Get Outside – Exposure to sunlight and vitamin D has shown to increase life expectancy by impacting bone health, heart disease, diabetes, and depression symptoms. To learn more, read our blog, “The Pavilion Senior Living Shares the Value of Fresh Air.”
The Pavilion Senior Living provides residents with opportunities for socialization and a healthier lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. As a community, we are diligently taking precautions and abiding by guidelines set to prevent the spread of the virus; however, our community atmosphere allows individuals to remain more connected than if they lived elsewhere.
Contact The Pavilion Senior Living to learn more about the socialization opportunities we offer, our services, or our senior care communities located throughout Tennessee and West Virginia.