If you hear the term “healthy aging,” you might suspect it means giving up favorite snack foods or running a marathon. In truth, a strong social life is one of the most important factors in the health and wellness of seniors—and vibrant independent living in St. Charles County could be the perfect setting.
Getting Together Is Good: The Effects of Socializing on the Health and Wellness of Seniors
Eating a banana for breakfast is very different than eating a banana split. That’s obvious. But it’s also important to understand that isolating yourself from others can have very different effects on your health and wellbeing than being social.
In fact, research has found that isolation is linked to negative health impacts, including:
- increased blood pressure
- higher rates of colds and flu
- heightened substance abuse
- greater incidence of dementia and cognitive decline
- higher mortality rates from breast cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases
Now for the good news: socializing can make a tremendous difference in the health and wellness of seniors. Here are just some of the ways:
Keeping you on the right track
There are five regions on the planet Earth—Blue Zones—where people seem to have mastered the secrets of successful aging. In fact, though these zones are dispersed around the world, their residents share many lifestyle characteristics. Socializing is one such characteristic.
In the Blue Zones, residents build a close circle of friends that share their commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. This helps them avoid bad behaviors, such as smoking and overeating, while promoting more positive lifestyle choices. In other words, spend time around healthy people and you are more likely to develop healthy habits!
Helping keep your memory sharp
Feeling lonely can impact memory. In fact, loneliness has been linked to faster cognitive decline. When people feel disconnected from others, they risk losing the ability to take care of themselves. Being around others you enjoy helps guard against the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Having friends and acquaintances, and participating in activities with them, “trains” the brain and keeps it agile. Good conversation and good company are very good for you.
Helping you stay active
A 2019 study found that older adults who had regular contact with friends and family were more physically active than those who did not. Think about it: your friends are getting together to go for a walk. Or to see a movie, or attend an event. You’re more likely to go yourself, and in the process, you’re already increasing your physical activity. The same is true when friends suggest you join them for Zumba or strength training: if it sounds like a way to have fun with others, you’re more motivated to join in.
In a vibrant retirement community in St. Charles County such as Avalon Park, you can be as active as you choose, while still enjoying your privacy.
Enhancing your overall health
According to the Mayo Clinic, adults with strong social connections have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). In fact, studies have found that older adults who have meaningful relationships and social support are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.
Reduces the chance of depression
Friends can boost your happiness. Increase your sense of belonging. Improve your self-confidence. Having friends around is very helpful for coping with difficult periods in life, following the death of a loved one or a trauma. Companionship is very beneficial for the health and wellness of seniors and one of the top reasons why independent living in Cottleville can be such an ideal choice.
Staying social as you age
Seniors living at home might find it more difficult to maintain social connections for a variety of reasons. But residents of a senior living community benefit from countless opportunities to interact with others. At Avalon Park independent living in Cottleville, there is always something going on. For example:
- Lectures and classes on interesting topics
- Group outings to areas of interest
- Special event, holiday celebrations, birthday parties
- Arts and crafts classes and other hobbies
- Volunteer projects both within and outside the community
- Mentoring others
- Playing games
- Dining with friends and family in the various venues
- Joining other residents in exploring the local area
- Much more
We make the health and wellness of seniors a priority
As a resident of Avalon Park, you have access to a wide variety of amenities designed to foster wellness – mind, body and spirit. One thing’s for sure – there’s always something to do!
You’ll find everything you need to live well and live better. Contact us today to set up your personalized tour.