Human beings are social creatures. Whether we are introverts or extroverts, being in healthy relationships where we connect with others and build long-lasting bonds are essential for a healthy state of mind. In fact, as we grow older, it might be even more important to build and maintain such social bonds to ensure that we can give and receive support, love, and companionship. Read on to find out more about senior socialization and its benefits.
Benefits of Senior Socialization
You may be unconvinced that hanging out with your friends will improve the quality of your life, but it really does! Studies have shown that adults, especially seniors, who have a fulfilling social life are less prone to emotional, cognitive, and physical issues than someone else who is isolated or lonely. There are several reasons why senior socialization is important.
Firstly, having a healthy social circle generally means having a better ability to cope with negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, and stress. In turn, this can also lead to physical manifestations of good health like less inflammation, healthier cardiovascular system, and even an improved immune system.
Secondly, having friends and loved ones can mean greater participation in sports, games and exercises. Do you know that participation in itself can already bring about many different physical, cognitive and mental benefits in older adults?
Lastly, senior socialization can give a person purpose. This is not to say that just by socializing, your loved ones can figure out what they want in life. However, by carrying out activities together or communicating more with people around them, senior socialization might be able to give them a better grasp of what’s happening in their lives.
Factors Preventing Seniors from Socializing
There are many reasons why seniors may choose to isolate themselves. Their actions may not make sense to a young, healthy individual but it is important to try and wear the shoes of your loved ones when you’re trying to encourage them to socialize. Their reluctance may be due to physical ailments, mobility issues, cognitive decline, or even the loss or reduced contact with spouses, family members, loved ones and friends. Sometimes, it could even be a low self-esteem or a sense of fear and insecurity that is holding them back, leading them to withdraw from people.
There really aren’t any one size fits all reason as to why someone may choose to isolate themselves. To understand why the seniors in your life are behaving in a certain way, the best thing you can do is to observe their routines and have a proper conversation with them. A lack of healthy social relationships is a vicious cycle in itself as it can cause many perceived difficulties that hinder building one. The best way to address this is to nip the issue in the bud as soon as possible, and take active intervention measures to help your loved one build a healthy social life.