The Benefits of Being Social for Older Americans

The Benefits of Being Social for Older Americans

In Communication, Family and Relationships, Health, Hearing Health, Lifestyle, News, Research by Michael L. Schneller, HIS

Michael L. Schneller, HIS
Latest posts by Michael L. Schneller, HIS (see all)

Human beings are a social species that relies on cooperation and interaction to survive and thrive. The importance of social interaction does not get any less important as we age. Social interaction has a positive influence on human beings’ physical and mental health. It can lower stress, depression, anxiety and also highly affect our immune system. In fact, Social interaction can be just as effective as exercise at improving your mood and quality of life. If you aren’t maintaining social interactions on a daily basis, you may be putting yourself at risk for depression or even dementia.

Hearing Loss’s Detriment to your Social Life

For decades, age-related hearing loss was considered medically harmless. Now scientists are realizing this is not the case. Besides the increased risk of fall and impact to your relationships and work, hearing loss can put a damper on your social life. Often people don’t realize their hearing is declining. The changes happen gradually, and often earlier than expected. Perhaps you attribute yourself having to ask people to repeat themselves to others not speaking clearly or you have been avoiding crowded noisy places because you tell your self you don’t like that much racket.  The problem is that as you start to avoid social situations due to untreated or undiagnosed hearing loss, your social life starts to suffer. As hearing declines, loneliness can intensify and set off a cascade of detrimental health effects.

The Benefits of Being Social for Seniors

There are so many health benefits to keeping a healthy social life for seniors including;

  • Greater longevity. People with more social support tend to live longer than those who are more isolated,.
  • Improved physical health. Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults. This means that you are better able to fight off colds, the flu, and even some types of cancer.
  • Improved mental health. Interacting with others boosts feelings of well being and decreases feelings of depression.
  • Lower your risk of dementia. Socializing is good for your brain health. People who connect with others generally perform better on tests of memory and other cognitive skills. Some studies claim that people with active social lives are less likely to develop dementia .

Stay Socially Active

So, what are some of the ways seniors can stay socially connected and active?

Here are other social activities that may keep senior’s social and feeling vibrant.

  • Join a Club or Group. It’s always important to have beloved hobbies, and they are a great way to stay social. Try to nurture and maintain hobbies and interests that get you out of the house and interacting with people. Join a club or social society related to your interests .
  • Volunteer or Get a Part-Time Job. Most towns and cities have great opportunities for seniors to volunteer.. Volunteer for a charity to help people who need it, feeling good about making a difference while you socialize. You can even consider getting a part-time job to keep you social, meet new folks, and make a little extra money on the side.
  • Spend more time with Family. Another great way to stay social is to spend more time with your family. Plan a weekly meal for your local family, and consider a yearly trip or reunion to gather with family members to reconnect.
  • Get Outdoors. Not only is spending time outside great for your health and wellness, it’s also a perfect way to stay active socially.
  • Take a class. It’s never too late to learn something new. Sign up for a writing course or an art class at a community college or adult education center. You’ll learn something new while interacting with others and keeping your brain active.
  • Invest in hearing aids. Hearing aids can restore your ability to communicate, so you can stay socially active and engage in other brain-stimulating activities.

Focus Hearing

Since using hearing aids can restore your ability to communicate, you are more likely to engage in brain stimulating activities such as social events with friends and family. If you suspect you have hearing loss, contact us at Focus Hearing to help you get back to the social life you love.