We wake up, go to work and clock out at the end of the day. In the middle of it all, we have a schedule that allows us to interact with others, be it at work or at home. Come retirement, the routine we grew so accustomed to is gone.
Without any small children to tend to, the flexibility of the new found freedom only works to bring about loneliness. Add that to the physical changes that come with aging, and you might as well tear your hair out.
We are all too aware of the importance of social interactions during the developmental stages of a child. Yet, have we ever stopped to question its importance in the life of a senior? Recent research states that social interaction is imperative in the maintenance of a senior’s physical, mental and emotional well- being. Below, we take a look at the importance of social interactions for seniors.
A study carried out by Fadia T. Shaya found that social interactions help lower blood pressure. Moreover, a healthy social network helps prevent and manage cardiovascular health issues.
Novant Health Library states that strong social networks can help protect seniors from a number of other age-related diseases as well. According to them, social interactions can help lower the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and certain cancers, just to name a few.
Notably, healthy physical well-being equals a healthy well- being.
As we age, we often have to deal with the loss of a spouse or even our loved ones. Having a friend (s) you can relate to can be emotionally healing and encouraging. It helps to know that you are not alone as you face the unavoidable aspects that come with old age.
Loneliness is an increasingly common problem among the seniors. With the children grown and no job to go to, it can be all too easy to fall into isolation. Social isolation, as the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) states, triggers mental illness.
Mental illness can come in the form of depression, anxiety, dementia and even Alzheimer’s. To encourage social interactions, seniors can engage in volunteer work and a regular schedule to meet up with friends.
Social interactions are also great opportunities to learn and grow in knowledge as well.
Social interactions help grow your social circle. The more people you know, the more people you can turn to in the event of an issue. People, be it your neighbors and friends will be inclined to help you by maintaining a sense of familiarity.
A recent study conducted by the NCBI states that there’s a correlation between neighborhood perception and community engagement. They found that senior citizens perceived a neighborhood to be safe the more they interact with their neighbors.
In conclusion, social interaction is imperative for senior citizens. Therefore, it is an issue that cannot be overlooked. Instead, senior citizens should be encouraged to participate in social activities for their own health and well- being.