For older adults, social engagement can become more challenging to achieve. However, that doesn’t diminish its impact on health and mental wellness.
At Brickmont Assisted Living, we empower residents to form connections with neighbors, friends, team members, and the surrounding community. We create an open and welcoming community by providing opportunities for social interactions, events, and activities.
Below, we look at the positive benefits of social engagement and how to start making connections today.
Why Social Engagement is Important
For older adults, loneliness is often caused not by being physically alone but by lacking meaning and purpose in their everyday lives. Social engagement can help provide this purpose.
Whether participating in a community event, volunteering at a local organization, or spending time with family and friends, social engagement is essential to physical and mental health.
Physical Health & Socialization for Adults
When older adults form and maintain meaningful relationships with others, their physical health improves. Social engagement has been shown to reduce stress levels, reduce the risk of stroke and heart failure, and increase overall health and wellness within an individual.
One of the reasons for this is that when you socialize with others and make lasting connections, you are more likely to maintain physical fitness and good health.
Why? Because when other people are counting on you to show up to events, help with projects, and be present, you are more likely to do it. Many studies have shown that older adults who have a larger purpose in their lives are often in better physical health. When you feel happy, connected, and fulfilled, that can have positive effects on other areas of your life, including diet, sleep, and physical exercise.
Mental Health & Socialization for Adults
Just as social engagement has many physical benefits for individuals, it also can positively affect mental and emotional health. As previously mentioned, loneliness is often linked to a lack of purpose rather than physical isolation. Older adults often become mentally and emotionally isolated because they lack the opportunity to positively impact the world around them.
If you are socially engaged within your community, faith group, or friends and family, you know your role and understand your importance within the group. This is a powerful factor for mental health, as it can give you confidence and security when you know that you belong.
Lack of Social Engagement is Dangerous
A recent study by the World Health Organization collected from thousands of participants worldwide and studied the relationship between socialization for adults and positive or negative behaviors. The results were revealing:
“Lower levels of social engagement were positively related to physical inactivity, prolonged sitting time, unhealthy sleep duration, perceived depression, poor self-rated health, and low quality of life.”
Other recent studies have shown a link between social isolation and depression in older adults. Again, the evidence of this is clear: When older adults do not have access or opportunities for social engagement, there are many negative consequences for their physical and mental health.
How to Become More Socially Engaged
Many older adults understand the importance of social engagement and want to become more social in their everyday lives. For many, the key challenge is knowing where to start. Fortunately, there are many solutions to this obstacle. We recommend beginning with what you already love to do.
For example, if you live an active lifestyle and love to exercise, you might consider joining a local fitness club or senior sports league. For someone who loves to work with animals, volunteering at a local pet store or animal shelter is a good way to give back to your community while interacting with other like-minded individuals.
The opportunities are truly endless for individuals who want to make more meaningful connections in their lives. At Brickmont, we believe social engagement is essential to good health, and we encourage you to make socialization a key part of your daily life.
Whether they are taking an art or cooking class, participating in low-impact fitness, or enjoying a delicious meal with friends in our dining room, there is never a shortage of things to do at Brickmont Assisted Living. Visit our website to learn more about our assisted living and memory care communities throughout Georgia.