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Health Benefits of Staying Social for Seniors


Most people are aware of the many benefits of physical activity, but what about social activity? Interacting with others is just as critical to our health, especially for the senior population. Many seniors may lose their daily social activities as they age due to various reasons such as mobility issues or family members and friends moving away. However, it's important that a senior maintains an active social life both for their mental and physical well being. 

It is estimated that over 15 million American seniors live alone. A study from the National Institute of Aging found that seniors who practice good social habits and are not isolated tend to have a decreased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, cognitive decline, depression, and Alzheimer's disease. Why is being social so important? Here are some of the reasons:

1. Enhanced Mental Health 
Interactions with friends and family can help maintain good mental health. Positive contact with other people can reduce stress and even slow down cognitive decline!

2. Improved Nutrition
Some seniors may skip meals or opt for quick, unhealthy snacks instead of cooking. Being social and enjoying meals with others can improve seniors' chances of eating regularly and consuming nutritious foods. 

3. Improved Quality of Life
Social activities can give a person a sense of belonging. When a senior is having fun, receiving and offering support, and enjoying the company of others, they tend to have a reduced risk of depression and an increased appreciation for life! 

4. Better Physical Health
Socialization can also improve seniors' physical health. There are a variety of activities that are fun to enjoy with another person or a group - like taking a walk, going to a park, or playing golf. Physical activities such as these can lower blood pressure, build the immune system, and reduce pain.

5. Longer Life Span
Seniors can increase their longevity by socializing regularly, as the combination of physical and mental benefits can ultimately lead to a longer, happier life!

As a caregiver, it's critical to incorporate social activities into your loved one's daily routine. It is recommended that seniors less prone to being social are introduced to activities gradually. As they gain more confidence, the number of activities and people involved can increase. There are many ways a senior can get involved, such as joining a club or group, going to a local senior center, volunteering in the community, taking an online class, reaching out to old friends for coffee or lunch, or attending church services.

At Evergreen Senior Living, we focus on socialization for all our residents in both our supportive living and memory care communities. If you are considering senior living options, we invite you to take a virtual tour! 

Or, feel free to give us a call today to learn more about our lovely communities - (217) 864-4300.

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