Seniors who attend senior center activities on a regular basis are shown to have better emotional health by offering important social opportunities.
For some, the Senior Center offers an escape from lonely, isolated lives, and there are also volunteer efforts to offer seniors free counseling.
These small efforts make a large and lasting impact on our community.
According to University of Rochester Medical Center:
Older Adults and the Importance of Social Interaction
As you get older and retire or move to a new community, you may not have quite as many opportunities to socialize as you did when you were younger.
If you're not heading to an office or getting out and about each day, you may be missing out on important social interaction that you need to stay sharp, healthy, and maybe even ward off dementia.
Research has shown that social interaction offers older adults many benefits. Staying socially active and maintaining interpersonal relationships can help you maintain good physical and emotional health and cognitive function.
People who continue to maintain close friendships and find other ways to interact socially live longer than those who become isolated. Relationships and social interactions even help protect against illness by boosting your immune system.
The benefits of being social
Specific health benefits of social interaction in older adults include:
- Potentially reduced risk for cardiovascular problems, some cancers, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Potentially reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk for mental health issues such as depression
Conversely, social isolation carries real risks. Some of these risks are:
- Feeling lonely and depressed
- Being less physically active
- Having a greater risk of death
- Having high blood pressure
Social interaction helps keep your brain from getting rusty, but it's most effective when coupled with an overall healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet and physical activity.