Humans are social creatures. Interacting with people and building meaningful relationships is vital and fun for people of all ages. It is especially important for seniors, who are currently facing a loneliness epidemic. In a study, 43% of seniors in the United States said that they feel lonely on a regular basis. When you reside in an assisted living facility, you’re surrounded by people your own age who may become some of your closest friends. But it can still be challenging to reach out and build a relationship. Read on below to learn more about the importance of friendship for seniors living in NYC.
The Importance of Friendship
Having friends doesn’t only make you feel better; it can actually make you healthier, too. Loneliness is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline. On the other hand, social interaction can provide a number of health benefits. Those with stronger relationships and social support systems tend to live longer than those who are more isolated. This is true no matter the senior’s overall health level. Those with more relationships also have a lower risk of developing dementia. People who are more social do better on tests of memory and other cognitive skills. Those who are less lonely also enjoy better physical and mental health. Friendship is linked to a stronger immune system and anti-inflammatory responses, which means you will have a lower chance of developing the flu, colds, and even certain types of cancer. You will also have a reduced risk of cardiovascular issues, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and depression. Interacting with others more can have a drastic effect on your overall well-being.
How Senior Living Facilities Can Help
Senior housing can offer an excellent solution to some of the most common friendship barriers that seniors face today. As children and adults, it’s easier to make new friends because of school and work. They open people up to a pool of potential friends that are the same age. Seniors who live alone don’t have this sort of built-in pool of peers to find friendship within. But those who live in an assisted living facility have a potential friend in every neighbor. Living in a community of people that are the same age as you makes it easier to meet new folks and form bonds with them. The mere fact that you live in the same place together means that you already have one thing in common, which is a great icebreaker.
Plus, many senior communities offer group activities where residents can get to know each other and interact. These include gardening groups, book clubs, exercise classes, community service opportunities, and religious services. This makes it easier to find new friends with similar hobbies and interests. When you live on your own, it can be difficult to get to similar community events. But, when these events are taking place in your own home, it’s nearly impossible not to go and meet some new people. Even if they don’t become your new best friend, interacting with others can still provide a range of health benefits.
If you’re searching for a senior living community for you or a loved one, reach out to us at Oyster Bay Senior Campus today!