According to a study by the National Institute on Aging, roughly one in three older adults in the United States suffer from social isolation and loneliness, which amounts to around 13.8 million people. Social isolation and loneliness can be extremely detrimental for your loved ones as their physical, emotional, and mental health will be negatively impacted. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with loved ones being independent and having their alone time. However, it’s crucial to remember that human beings naturally are social animals, which means that socialization and interaction are part and parcel of life. In this article, we will be highlighting the benefits of socializing for aged adults’ mental health.
When your loved ones have an active social life, they can take their mind off stressful thoughts. It has been scientifically proven that socialization has the ability to increase oxytocin production in the body, which works to decrease anxiety levels and stimulate the body’s calming responses. Besides medical reasoning, socialization provides an opportunity for loved ones to form close friends who can listen and offer advice whenever necessary. As such, your loved ones can count on a support system to solve difficulties and get through challenging times.
Prevent Cognitive Decline
Here at Discovery Village At The West End, we offer a wide range of activities for our residents. From fitness and wellness programs to game nights and excursions, these activities provide an opportunity for residents to stimulate their minds, which helps prevent cognitive decline and improve memory function. In fact, leisure activities such as playing board games and learning a musical instrument have been associated with a lower risk of dementia. As such, we highly encourage loved ones to step out of their comfort zone and form strong relationships through our activities and events.
Feel a Sense of Purpose
Since many aging adults may be retired, they do not have any work commitments or responsibilities to look forward to, which can result in them experiencing a lack of purpose in life. A lack of social activity can also lead to constant boredom and dissatisfaction. As such, by socializing with other people and partaking in activities, they can create strong connections that are meaningful and give a great sense of fulfillment. In addition, socializing events allow them to keep themselves engaged and have something to anticipate throughout the day.
Reduce Risk of Depression
It should come as no surprise that being stuck in the house all day and not having sufficient human contact can increase the risk of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and other mental health problems. As one suffers from poor mental health, this can lead to them experiencing negative social interactions. This is why we do not recommend our residents to constantly stay in their apartments, and instead take a proactive approach to participate in group activities. The activities and events we offer are specifically designed to promote mental stimulation, which helps our residents to stay mentally healthy and happy.