Day of Friendship
As we age, there is a tendency to shed family and friends which can hurt our mental and physical heath. Higher levels of social interaction can have a high payoff for elderly folks. On International Day of Friendship, celebrated on July 30th, Family Matters is challenging our community to befriend a senior.
Family Matters is dedicated to helping seniors stay engaged with their community. According to a survey of women over age 60, those who are socially engaged and visit with friends and family throughout the week are happier as they age. Social interaction gives seniors a sense of belonging and allows them to stay connected to the world around them.
Socialization is important for everyone, regardless of age, although seniors are more susceptible to the dangers caused by isolation. We challenge you to reach out to your loved ones, neighbors, family members, or even a stranger on the street to create a new friendship.
The Benefits of Friendship
Specific health benefits of social interaction in older adults include:
- Potentially reduced risk for cardiovascular problems, some cancers, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Potentially reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk for mental health issues such as depression
Social isolation carries real risks. Some of these risks are:
- Feeling lonely and depressed
- Being less physically active
- Having a greater risk of death
- Having high blood pressure