Healthy friendships lead to healthier aging for seniors

Healthy friendships lead to healthier aging for seniors

May 28, 2021

As a senior or the caretaker of one, you’re well-aware of the factors that play a role in healthy aging—from getting quality sleep and eating a balanced diet to consistent exercise and participating in meaningful activities, there’s many proven approaches to better the aging process. But did you know that having strong, supportive friendships can also contribute to living a longer and healthier life? Heather Glen Senior Living breaks down how a senior’s social life (or lack thereof) can impact their livelihood. 

Combat isolation and loneliness  

Many studies show the effect that isolation and loneliness have on the physical and mental health of seniors, including an increased risk of dementia, high blood pressure, depression, weight loss or gain, cognitive decline and more. Additionally, isolation can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle, putting them at risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease. 

But when seniors have at least one dynamic friendship or source of consistent human connection, they’re more likely to be healthier and happier. Social support can encourage seniors to eat well, exercise and participate in more activities. 

Promote cognitive health 

Our brains are always adapting and growing, even throughout the aging process. One critical component to healthy brain function is using and challenging it—and one of the best ways to do that is through social interaction. By working to develop existing relationships and create new ones, seniors will engage more parts of their brain to tell stories, carry out conversations and learn more about their friends. Bonds can also be formed through activities like card games and hobbies, which also have a positive impact on cognitive health. 

Influence habits and behaviors 

In every stage of life, the people you surround yourself with often have a strong influence on your habits and behaviors. As we age, this phenomenon has even more of an impact on health and wellness. Being friends with people who are active can encourage seniors to participate in the same activities, like daily walks. If your loved one’s friends eat a balanced diet, enjoy reading and take care of themselves, they are more likely to do the same. 

Where to find friendship and genuine connections  

Seniors who live alone or have in-home care are much more likely to experience isolation and have difficulty finding companionship outside of their family or caregivers. One of the endless benefits of living in a personal care community like Heather Glen Senior Living is the many ways residents can make friends. 

As the premier personal care home in Allentown, Heather Glen Senior Living offers a curated activity calendar to help cultivate friendships and stimulate residents’ minds and bodies. From cooking classes and happy hour to book club and game nights, residents can find companionship through shared interests or team camaraderie. Additionally, our community amenities include an indoor activity area, outdoor walking trail, putting green, indoor lounge areas, reading nooks, a dining hall and more. These spaces not only make Heather Glen feel like home to seniors, but makes it easier to socialize and make friends with other residents and staff members. 

If you want to help your loved one make strong connections and improve their health and wellness through the power of friendship, Heather Glen Senior Living is the perfect place for them. To learn more about our services or schedule a tour of the community, contact us online or give us a call at (610) 841-4478. 

Ask Kim & Jessica