Why Socialization is Important to Wellness for Seniors


When it comes to quality of life for senior adults, most people think of ways to boost wellness, like eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, taking regular walks around the neighborhood, and keeping up with annual physician check-ups. While each of these habits are great, recent research shows that many older adults neglect their social life, which can lead to a list of adverse physical and mental health outcomes.


Let’s dive more into the importance of socialization as we age, the challenges most older adults face when filling their social calendar, and the benefits that positive connections with others can bring to the table.


Is Connection the Key to Wellness for Seniors?

A decade ago, researchers did not look at social connection as a critical component of healthy aging. However, in the past few years, we have been inundated with studies demonstrating the relationship between peer socialization and positive health outcomes for those over 55. 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, reports that isolation and perceived feelings of loneliness can lead to increased depression, decreased immune response, more rapid cognitive decline, increased risk of heart disease, and even an increased risk of premature death in older adults. Further, studies show that isolation and loneliness among adults over the age of 55 are higher than you might expect: nearly one-third of adults over the age of 55 feel lonely, while roughly one-fourth of adults over the age of 65 are considered socially isolated.


Why are older adults lonely and more likely to live in isolation? Shrinking social circles due to retirement, decreased access to transportation, family members who move away, and friends who pass away are all more factors leading to this decrease in meaningful connections with others.


Social Interaction Benefits for Seniors

You don’t need to be a social butterfly to benefit from connecting with peers. The benefits of social interaction can positively affect mental, cognitive, and physical health for introverts and extroverts alike. The top social interaction benefits for elderly adults can include:

  • Improved self-esteem
  • Decreased depression
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Increased mobility
  • Increased immune response
  • Improved quality of life


Tips for Socialization in Old Age

Even with all the benefits of socialization in old age, finding new friends and establishing positive connections with others can be challenging. Here are a few tips for getting you back into a social circle:

  • Take a new class at your local senior center or library
  • Sign up for a volunteer role
  • Meet up for coffee weekly with a group of friends or neighbors
  • Strike up conversations with people you see in your daily life


Senior Living and Quality of Life for Seniors

The solution to senior isolation and loneliness is in the senior living community down your street. Senior living communities are designed to improve the quality of life for all residents. One way they do that is by providing a regular calendar of events and programs for residents to enjoy. Meeting new friends is much easier when neighbors are down the hall and at the dining room table. It’s no wonder senior living communities are so vibrant and busy: the residents there are connecting and living a socially active lifestyle!




Learn More About Legend Senior Living and Schedule Your Personal Visit!