Health and Senior Social Networks

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Health and Senior Social Networks

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At Legacy House, we’re proud to preside over an assisted living center that provides numerous social opportunities for all our guests. Our senior living services include numerous social and community-wide programs, and residents are encouraged to broaden their social horizons whenever possible.

This is not only to improve day-to-day life for a senior, either – being social can also have significant health benefits, particularly for older adults. Whether you’re a senior looking to increase your social time or a caregiver looking to help in this same area, here are some basics behind the connections between friendship and health, plus how you can become more social in a healthy way.

Friendship and “Blue Zones”

For many healthcare professionals, “blue zones” are names for regions of the world where people live the longest on average. You’ll find several broad characteristics of people in these blue zones, and a major one here is people who make a priority out of things like family time and friendships.

People in this category generally have lower risks of depression, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and numerous other conditions that can often affect seniors. On the flip side, more isolated adults are at higher risk for earlier mortality.

Expanding Senior Social Networks

Around retirement age, changes often occur to a given senior social network. Some people drift away from work friends or have less in common with those they stay in touch with, and others relocate and lose friendships with neighbors. Here are some tips for helping re-expand this network:

  • Learning new things: Whether it’s a new hobby you take up on your own or a class you begin attending, consider social ways to learn new things. This can both improve cognitive health and open up your social network.
  • Be active: Utilize fitness clubs or senior centers with activities designed specifically for older adults.
  • Volunteer: If you’re physically able, volunteering is a great way to feel fulfilled while also connecting to people.
  • Nurture the spirit: Many seniors find themselves more interested in spiritual activities and connecting with themselves in this way. If you’re among these, consider joining a church or synagogue where you can also improve your social connections.

How Senior Living Communities Help

In many cases, senior living facilities are perfect for the kinds of social gaps that sometimes appear for seniors. At Legacy House, we have numerous programs where seniors can connect and build long-term friendships, all with people who live in the same facility as them. The move to such a facility is often brought on in large part by a desire for a changing social atmosphere, in fact.

For more on staying social in a healthy way as a senior, or to learn about any of our other senior living services, speak to the caring staff at Legacy House today.