Humans need love and support. Those needs don’t diminish as a person ages. In fact, seniors require socialization to remain happy and healthy. Studies show an elderly person who spends time with family and friends has a higher quality of life and lives longer. Why is socialization so important at this stage of life, and how can individuals ensure their loved ones get the socialization they need? 

Health Benefits

Men and women who socialize during their senior years handle stressful situations better than their peers who lack this socialization. They live longer and are more physically active. Anxiety decreases, and depression becomes less of a concern. Furthermore, when seniors have opportunities to socialize, they have more self-confidence and a higher sense of worth. If socialization is a concern for a loved one, consider having them relocate to an assisted living community. This type of setting increases the socialization opportunities for seniors. 

Cognitive Benefits

When men and women get together and have positive social interactions, the contact with other people is stimulating and keeps them mentally sharp. Intellectual engagement should be a priority at this stage of life, as it helps to stave off general cognitive decline. People worry about memory loss and dementia as they age. Social interactions help to reduce the risk of these conditions. In addition, when a person socializes while exercising, the benefits of both activities increase. 

Why Don’t Seniors Socialize More? 

Senior citizens typically don’t work, so why don’t they socialize more? They have free time and should spend it with other people. However, there are numerous obstacles to socializing that people must be aware of. 

Health issues often prevent a senior from getting out and spending time with other people. After losing their spouse or a loved one, they may not have the desire to see people. Some people worry that they are suffering from cognitive decline and don’t want to embarrass themselves when around other people, so they stay home. Furthermore, family members may not be available to help seniors get around, so the seniors end up sitting at home and missing out on their favorite activities

Overcoming These Challenges

Families need to work together to help seniors overcome these challenges. They must actively step in and find solutions for each challenge. When a person doesn’t socialize, they often fall into a vicious cycle where they don’t socialize, are isolated, and become depressed. Early intervention is needed for this reason. 

Providing Seniors with Socialization Opportunities

Families need to be the first line of defense against senior mental health issues and physical health problems. Visit a loved one who can’t get out and see people or help them find a new hobby. They can then connect with other people who enjoy that same hobby.

Talk with the seniors and see if they may be interested in volunteering for an organization they support.  Furthermore, consider a support group for seniors who have lost a loved one, as this is a great way for people to come together and share their experiences. However, one of the best ways for seniors to socialize regularly is at the dinner table. 

Dining and Socialization

Every human must eat to survive. However, how a person chooses to eat may also provide them with nourishment. As a person eats, the body often undergoes pleasant sensory changes. It all begins when the person anticipates a meal after smelling it cooking. This smell triggers the brain to signal the salivary glands in the mouth. In fact, that’s how the phrase “a mouth watering” meal came about. 

Furthermore, a visually appealing meal made up of different colors and textures makes eating more enjoyable. Seniors may even be influenced by the color of their plates. They prefer a plate that stands out from the table, as this gives them a sense of confidence when they attempt to balance deficits in their sensory systems. When food is presented thoughtfully, it stimulates brain activity.

Combine this with the social aspect of eating with others and it is easy to see why having a meal with friends and family is good for a senior. Humans enjoy spending time together and there is no better time to do so than over a good meal. For this reason, every senior should make meals with others a top priority. 

Never discount the importance of socialization at any age. However, seniors often have to rely on others to ensure they get this socialization. If your loved one struggles in this area, it may be time to change their living accommodations so they are surrounded by other people. An assisted living community is the ideal place for this interaction. 

About Cypress Court

Cypress Court offers a range of living accommodations to meet the needs of seniors. Residents benefit from activities and events within the community or may choose to explore the surrounding area of Escondido with family and friends. Our goal is to help seniors live lives they love, regardless of what that looks like.