There’s nothing like the warm feeling of spending time with a close friend or family member, and there’s no question that a friendly visit with a loved one can boost your mood and morale. But surprisingly, socialization – or lack of it – can also impact our physical health.
Staying Social Reduces Risk of Disability
A Rush University Medical Center study reported higher levels of social activity are associated with a decreased risk of becoming disabled. Results showed that a person who reported a high level of social activity was about twice as likely to remain free of a disability involving activities of daily living than a person with a low level of social activity, and about 1.5 times as likely to remain free of disability involving instrumental activities of daily living or mobility.
Marked Reduction in Depression and Pain for Those with Greater Social Support
The Journal of Pain published a study that showed social support reduces pain and depression. A similar study showing the connection between social support and physical symptoms was published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
Be Social and Live Longer
Being socially active can contribute to an increase in the quality and length of life.
Researchers in Australia followed senior citizens for 10 years. In people 70 years old and older, the risk of dying decreased by 20 percent when people had a strong network of friends. Having social interactions with friends provided a greater effect than interactions with family members.
University College London followed 6,500 British people over the age of 52 from 2004 to 2012.Those that lacked social interaction were 26 percent more likely to die during the period than those with active social lives.
Staying social as we age can be a challenge, but a professional home care agency, like Visiting Angels, can provide an easy solution to the debilitating effects of isolation. Our services are available on an hourly basis or through live-in, around-the-clock care and companionship. Contact us at 408-735-0977 in Sunnyvale or 510-284-0000 in Fremont to get started!