Whether it's graduating alongside our favorite classmates, celebrating weddings with our sorority sisters, or just enjoying a boisterous dinner party, some of the most important moments we experience are those we share with our friends.
As we get older, and have families, work, and other obligations, it can be easy to let friendships fall by the wayside, but it is never too late to rekindle old relationships or start brand new ones. In fact, research has come to show us that maintaining an active social life as we age can actually help us stay healthier, longer.
Better Memory through Friendships
Most older adults are always looking for a way to improve their memory, and it turns out one of the most effect ways is also one of the most fun. A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health showed that " individuals with the highest social integration had the slowest rate of memory decline." This particular study assessed social integration using marital status, volunteer activities, and contact with family and neighbors. Staying in touch with other people can actually help you keep your memory for longer!
Sustaining Physical Health
Mental acuity and memory is one thing, but increased socialization can also have a marked effect on physical health as we age. One University of Texas study found that older people who maintain (or increase) their level of socialization as they age are likely to slow progression of physical ailments. This means that even those seniors who have experienced levels of decreased socialization still have time to make a positive impact on their health by increasing these instances. The ultimate takeaway is that the more we socialize as we get older, the longer we can live.
Just as socialization can have positive effects, increased isolation can have many pitfalls. Older adults that are isolated from meaningful social experiences can not only lose their memories faster, but also have increased incidences of depression and can actually live shorter lives overall.
Socializing at Vista Springs
At Vista Springs, we didn't need research to show us that more social seniors are happier seniors. Our communities are full of opportunities for our residents to socialize with their neighbors and visit with their families. We have regular activities like card games, music classes, crafting, and a host of other ways that our seniors can stay connected. There's no reason any of our residents should ever have to feel alone at Vista Springs.