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3 Reasons Seniors Need to Socialize

Wow, this year is going by fast at Brandermill Woods! Here we are already in July, and our friendly teams are juggling summer vacations, doing our best to stay cool in this blistering heat, and starting to plot out some of our fall social events.

Many of our activities repeat from month to month—happy hours and movie nights, Bridge clubs and Mah Jongg games, Bible studies and pottery classes. But we also try to schedule a wealth of special events and off-site field trips, like trips to local parks and museums. To see what we have coming up, check out our Independent Living Calendar or our Assisted Living Calendar.

Why do we work so hard to maintain such a full calendar of social events for our seniors? Our promise is that we are here to redefine retirement, and what that means is that we provide a community where seniors can live their best lives. A place where they can explore a new hobby, and make new friends, and enjoy all life has to offer—without the hassles of home maintenance and commuting. Here, fun starts just steps outside your door.

We also make sure to provide so many social opportunities because there an endless amount of research out there tells us seniors need socialization to thrive. Arguably, all humans need socialization to thrive, but seniors are at risk for isolation because their kids have grown and left the nest, and retirees no longer have 40+ hours of scheduled weekly activity and social interaction.

Although might take some intentional work on the part of seniors and their loved ones, here are just three of the many benefits that come from regular socialization:

1. Live Healthier. An active social life correlates with many of the standard recommendations for maintaining good health. For example, socially active seniors are more likely to exercise—whether it’s through a class, or simply getting out of the house and walking around. Exercise is the fountain of youth for seniors. It keeps up your strength, gives you energy, and combats heart disease, among other benefits.

2. Keep Your Mind Sharp. Numerous studies have shown that connecting with others keeps your mind active. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), for instance, recommends social activities as a way to improve or maintain cognitive health in older age. Although no one can go so far as to say socialization can help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease, NIA research shows that participating in hobbies, volunteering, and other social activities “have been associated with reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.”

3. Get the Most Out of Life. Although it’s hard to measure, a life rich with friendships and social connections is more fun. Extroverts love a good party, but introverts also need a few close friends to share the experience of living with. Socialization can take whatever form suits you best—from group exercise classes or evening happy hours to a quiet book club discussion or a morning walk with your best friend.

Retirement living can be the best kind of living—stress-free and worry-free—but you do have to work at maintaining social bonds. A good senior living community brings the social life to you.