Overall health is so important for seniors to consider. Hundreds of studies show that social support benefits both your mental and physical health. Luckily, there are quite a few easy ways you can ensure you are actively taking care of yourself. Staying healthy as you age and keeping a balanced social calendar are the best ways to improve your mind and body. If you are looking for some great reasons to continue to engage in social connections, we’ve got a helpful list for you!
Related: 6 Retirement Activities to Help You Stay Active and Engaged as You Age
Social connection tends to increase your physical activity
Being around friends means you are more likely to engage in physical activity; this can be as simple as walking together. Walking with others has great benefits to your physical health, as well as the benefit of social connection and even cognitive function. Taking a walk with a friend or loved one around the neighbourhood can spark old memories and lead to great storytelling adventures. Nearby parks, farms, beaches and orchards also provide beautiful settings for a stroll.
In addition, local recreation centres offer a number of low-impact sports and activities to keep your body in shape. A refreshing swim, yoga class or even pickleball for those more active, are great ways to keep fit and have a lot of fun doing it.
Seniors live alone for a variety of different reasons; but often times they have lost loved ones that they would typically have around with them in their older years. Naturally, this can play an emotional toll and lead to seniors feeling very lonely. Chatting about these feelings with others in the same situation is the best way to find understanding, peace and validation.
Depression can affect both the mind and body, making it difficult for many seniors to keep up with basic needs. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest challenges to overcome as many refuse or struggle to understand the importance of social interaction for senior health. Arrange a visiting schedule with family members and get involved with a local senior’s group (there are even some specifically for those who have lost loved ones) to find like-minded people to talk to.
Social interaction doesn’t even have to involve someone coming into your home or even leaving your home. The pandemic has taught us to embrace social interaction that comes through a phone call or a computer chat, as a great alternative to being together physically. This is particularly helpful when feeling under the weather or overwhelmed by crowds.
Learning about new technology is a great way to keep your mind running at full speed while keeping up your social game! Telephones have advanced quite a bit from the rotary model, and computer cameras make it easy to see your growing grandkids from across the country. There are many resources available to teach you how to use the technology you have, to contact the people in your life that you want to see the most.
Related: 9 Essentials Smartphone Apps For Seniors (Android & Apple)
Self-esteem is something that we take for granted until it starts to diminish. In older years, people might begin to feel self-conscious about their body, mind, or abilities as things start to change. One of the best ways to make a senior feel confident in these changes is to ensure they are surrounded by other people who are experiencing the same things.
Look for senior-based salons, clubs, clothing stores, or activities around your neighbourhood to find new friends that are in the same life stage. Self-esteem is built and nurtured by being around people who compliment you and lift your spirits, so a group of good friends or close family who can empathize with you is perfect!
Considering a Retirement Community? Learn more about the Sifton Retirement Lifestyle
Makes you Happier
It’s certainly proven that smiles and laughter are good for your body and soul. Smiling activates tiny molecules in your brain that are designed to fend off stress. This natural, feel-good chemical cocktail that your brain serves up, helps you to feel happier, and it can even lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Surround yourself with others and you are guaranteed to feel the effects of a good smile.
Related: Moving into a Retirement Home – “I should have done this sooner!”Your retirement years are meant to be your best, so work keeping your spirits high. Connect and play games with new friends, get out and be active, or reminisce together over a delicious healthy meal.
Enjoying your life is a significant contributor to healthy aging and in a Sifton Retirement Residence, we make it our mission to nurture the social connection and relationships that ensure seniors thrive.