When caring for an aging loved one, their physical safety and health are usually the main priorities. But for seniors, socializing is just as important as diet and exercise when it comes to living a long and happy life. Research shows that seniors that are highly active socially are twice as likely to avoid disabilities. Harvard University found that socializing for seniors is as beneficial as exercise. And a social life does more than improve seniors’ health and extend their lives – socializing reduces stress and increases self-esteem for everyone, especially seniors.
There are many ways for seniors to improve their social lives and quality of life. Going to church services and becoming involved in church activities, joining clubs or the local senior center, and volunteering or taking up a low-pressure part-time job are just a few. Activities that are challenging physically or mentally such as dancing or music classes are especially beneficial – seniors can make new friends and strengthen their bodies and minds at the same time.
However, these activities take extra effort for elderly people, as many of their lifelong friends may have passed away or moved, and it requires going outside of their comfort zone. Travelling to social events can also be challenging for seniors with disabilities or who no longer drive. Even for older adults in a good health, a professional caregiver can encourage your loved one to attend activities and help with transportation, all while providing valuable companionship.