Socializing as we Age - Connection to Health and Wellbeing

November 24, 2023

Socializing as we Age - Connection to Health and Wellbeing

Humans are innately social creatures; we seek out and generally thrive when we are in the company of others.  Experts have proven that socialization, at all ages, helps us learn, builds self-worth and belonging, creates a sense of purpose, and supports mental health and wellbeing.

As we age our social lives can shrink as demands of work, family and responsibilities consume much of our time.  People tend to give up playing sports and going out to social events and see their social experiences diminish.  For many, this unfortunate tend tends to get worse and worse as we age. 

The benefits of maintain strong social connections and networks as we age cannot be overstated.  Socialization amongst older adults helps to maintain and improve cognitive health, decreases the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and bolsters our sense of self-esteem.  Let’s take a look at 5 important benefits of maintaining a strong social life as we age. 

  1. Improved Mental Health

Many ageing adults are as risk of being isolated, lonely and can easily mainfest feelings of despair and worthlessness.  It is common to see that adults in this situation can fall deep into depression.  Socialization combats depressive feelings and allows people to feel valued and involved in meaningful events and activities.  Social engagement also helps people remain mentally engaged and active.  The brain is like muscles in the body, if we don’t use them they deteriorate and don’t work well.  Strong social inclusion ensures a healthy mental state and fights of cognitive decline. 

  1. Sense of Belonging

Feeling like we belong in a group is just as important when we are middle aged and older as when we are young.  It’s critical to know the we have people to whom we can turn to share life’s ups and downs especially when we might not have a house full of family members any more.  Older People experience times of loss and strong friendships and social bonds can help people get through these difficult times successfully.  When we have a community around us to support and engage with ensure that we remain engaged and happy. 

  1. Increased Self-Esteem

It’s common for self-esteem to decline as we age.  We can find ourselves feeling less valued by society and also feeling embarrassed and frustrated when ageing brings physical challenges and limitations.  The more we socialize and engage in social activities, the stronger our sense of self-worth and value amongst our peers who are often struggling with the same set of problems or challenges.  Positive social interactions build and maintain confidence and personal satisfaction.

  1. Accountability

We need others in our life to hold us accountable and ensure a life full of direction.  This helps ensure that we continue to take care of ourselves and don’t slip into poor habits, poor hygiene, and a decline in our self-care.   Socializing with others helps us maintain schedules, have direction in our days and be accountable for our personal health and hygiene. 

  1. Purposeful Life

On a daily basis, having places to go and important things to do helps us to feel that our lives have meaning and purpose.  A robust social life ensure that we feel that there is a point to getting up each morning.  Building a day full of events and activities ensure that the future is something to look forward to.  Sharing activities and engagements with others keep us involved and feeling that we have a life with purpose.

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