Research Finds Social Interaction Is Beneficial To Senior Citizens[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”15888464″]
Studies have shown that social interaction offers senior citizens many benefits.Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health used data gathered from 1998 to 2004 from the Health and Retirement Study, a large, nationally representative population of American adults ages 50 and older. Participants took memory tests at two-year intervals during the study period. Testers read a list of 10 common nouns to survey respondents, who were then asked to recall as many words as possible immediately and again after a five-minute delay. The researchers also measured social integration based on marital status, volunteer activities, and contact with parents, children and neighbors.
The results showed that individuals who in their 50s and 60s engaged in a lot of social activity also had the slowest rate of memory decline. In fact, compared to those who were the least socially active, study subjects who had the highest social integration scores had less than half the rate of memory loss. The researchers controlled for variables like age, gender, race and health status. Those who had the fewest years of formal education appeared to have the most to gain from an active social life as they aged. The study showed that the protective effect of social integration was greatest among individuals with fewer than 12 years of education.
Senior citizens with low or no social activity in their lives will find themselves withdrawn from the world.
Social activities connect seniors to their communities. Social activities take many forms, from low mobility to high mobility, and gives seniors the enjoyment they need. Senior citizens who have an opportunity to build new relationships with a wide range of people will enjoy the benefits of a comprehensive social network. People who continue to maintain close friendships and find other ways to interact socially live longer than those who become isolated.
Relationships and social interactions even help protect against illness by boosting your immune system. Staying socially active and maintaining interpersonal relationships can help you maintain good physical and emotional health and cognitive function. A few specific health benefits of social interaction in older adults include reduced risk for cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.
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