The Benefits of Being Social for Older Americans

Social activity has a multitude of rewards for those who take part, so why do we find it so difficult to socialize, particularly as we get older? Some people would prefer to stay home rather than attend a party, dinner, or gathering. Some older people face mobility issues that make it difficult to leave the house, and others fear that they won’t be accepted in the ways they were when they were younger. One more reason haunts a great number of older Americans: hearing loss. When it is difficult to communicate, social events can feel like a minefield of possible missteps. Each conversation is an opportunity to get something wrong, risking embarrassment or miscommunication.

Although some people think of social activity as a hassle, recent findings are showing that socialization has a strong relationship with all kinds of healthy outcomes. Those who stay isolated indoors can suffer worse physical health, as well as emotional and cognitive struggles that could be avoided through these social connections. Let’s take a look at some of these relationships, as well as the different ways you can engage socially once again.

Social Connections and Health

Being socially connected is crucial for a number of dimensions of health, not only including your physical well being but your emotional and cognitive health, as well. Those who are more socially active report lower rates of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even some forms of cancer. They tend to have lower blood pressure, as well, which is related to a number of other conditions. Some of these relationships have to do with the connection between social and physical activity. Simply getting out of the house, mobilizing to a social event, and moving through a space can get the body in action, promoting physical well being. However, the benefits to health don’t stop at the body. Those who are more social tend to have better cognitive health, enabling them to make logical connections and use language more effectively. They also have better outcomes when it comes to mental health. Being connected to others works wonders to reduce the incidence and symptoms of depression, particularly by reminding us that we are not alone.

How to Get Connected

With these many benefits of social activity, you might wonder how you can get connected once again. There are myriad ways to socialize, and the ample time in retirement should be all the more reason to spend some of it getting to know new people and building connections with our loved ones. One of the easiest ways to make a social connection is to take a class at a community center, school, or gym. By taking a class, you are really taking care of your mental health through learning something new while also connecting with people who have a shared interest. Just imagine the added benefits of a fitness class: mind, body, and social well being. In addition to taking a class, many older Americans reap the rewards of volunteering. By spending some of your free time giving back to the community, you can make social connections with other volunteers and non-profit workers at the same time. Perhaps you can spend time tutoring at a local school or leading an activity at a hospital. You will immediately feel the benefits of making others’ lives better while also forming social connections that broaden your horizons. Clubs, religious organizations, and community groups are even more ways to socialize, and the possibilities are really as limitless as your imagination.Neighborhood

Hearing Aid Center

If you are one of the older Americans who lets hearing loss get in the way of social activity, these many health results should be even more impetus to get assistance. Rather than letting your hearing isolate you and keep you from social activity, why not get a hearing test today? With the results in hand, your hearing health professional will be able to recommend the right kind of hearing aids for your individual profile, and you can communicate with ease once again.

The benefits of a rich social life are truly beyond description, and your ability to have a clear conversation is the foundation of building social relationships. At Neighborhood Hearing Aid Center, we can help! Contact us today to learn more.