In a scientific study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, it was found that older adults who were socially and physically active experienced a slower decrease in cognitive and physical limitations, while seniors who were not as active experienced rapid decrease in cognitive and physical limitations. Because of that, socially isolated and inactive seniors end up having to visit the doctor’s office much more often than their socially active peers.
The following are some reasons why seniors should maintain at least a moderate level of social activity.
Reduced risk for mental health conditions
Constant interaction with peers helps to prevent a host of mental health issues, ranging from depression to poor cognitive function. When seniors stay socially active, the brain is constantly engaged, allowing seniors to maintain a sharper mind and reducing the potential for faltering cognitive function. For example, risk for Alzheimer’s disease will be lower than a senior who is socially isolated.
The interaction creates a sense of belonging and helps to stay connected to the world and current events. This type of interaction reduces stress levels and helps to prevent depression. On the other side, if you are socially isolated, you will be at higher risk of feeling lonely, which can lead to depression.
Stay physically active
One excellent by-product of staying socially active is that it almost always correlates to being more physically active as compared to seniors who are socially isolated. This is because you will tend to get out of the house more instead of just staying home alone every day. Your immune system and nutrition levels will also be improved since socially engaged seniors tend to eat more when they are around others.
In fact, when you stay socially active, you will have lower blood pressure and potentially reduced risk for cardiovascular problems, some cancers, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. This reduced risk is a happy by-product of being physically active since socially engaged seniors tend to get higher levels of physical activity. It also helps that socially engaged older adults tend to be more motivated to maintain their health as compared to their less-engaged peers. Hence, you can see that maintaining a decent level of social activity is vital for seniors’ health and mental well-being.
Options for NYC seniors
Seniors in NYC are fortunate to have options in their neighborhoods to help them to remain active with their peers. The Canarsie Adult Day Center is a great option, providing lunch, daily activities, movement exercises, trips and more, for seniors throughout Brooklyn. The Canarsie Adult Day Center also provides transportation for their members, to and from home, on a daily basis.
Contact the Canarsie Adult Day Center today to become a member. Caregivers can call on behalf of a parent or elderly family member.