Relationships are vital to societal well being. Can you imagine life without close friends and family? Connections are vital to the components of overall wellness. There is a plethora of research to be consumed in this arena. A recent article summed up social wellness in a simplistic, yet powerful way.
“It is the ability to make meaningful connections with others – as a family, as a society, and as a community. Social wellness is the ability to care for others while we take good care of ourselves. Relationships we form with those around us can greatly impact the quality of our lives. https://lifecares.org/life-cares/social-wellness
The recent effects of isolation in senior living care centers have caused a surge in the concern for overall wellness. Seniors often experience the detrimental effects of diminished social wellness. Several studies have indicated that mortality rates are linked to positive social connectedness. A component of www.lifetimewellness.com is to provide resources that uplift and encourage our seniors. Aging successfully is accomplished through a variety of social wellness initiatives that are threaded throughout our outstanding curriculum. These resources are created by professionals that understand the need for complete wellness programming.
Did You Know?
- 1 in 4 adults age 65 and older are socially isolated? A lack of regular interaction with others can affect your health and well-being.
- Feeling lonely and being isolated can be bad for your health.
- Loneliness and social isolation have been associated with higher rates of depression, a weakened immune system, heart disease, and dementia.
- Older adults are at higher risk for social isolation and loneliness due to changes in health and social connections, such as memory loss and/or the loss of family and friends. http://bit.ly/3qiBQ4J.
Social isolation can have devastating effects on all ages. Intentional steps to build the social and emotional dimensions of health are critical to combatting the ill effects of social disconnect. There are many helpful tips that will increase connections with others. The following are just a few, among many!
- Treating everyone with dignity and respect
- Being self-aware
- Taking good care of oneself both physically and mentally
- Nurturing one’s relationships
- Empathizing with others and their situations
- Eating healthy
- Doing what is necessary to stay fit
- Being able to ask for help when needed
- Spending quality time with your loved ones
- Belonging to a community
- Maintaining a healthy work-home-life balance
- Creating a good network of supportive friends
- Checking in with your friends and family as often as possible
- Being able to invest in yourself as much as you invest in others
- Being kind to yourself
The quality of our lives can be maintained with purposeful focus on health and wellness. Pharmacological methods are necessary for many areas of improved health. However, social wellness can improve cardiovascular health, by maintaining proper levels of blood pressure. Stressors from poor social health can increase hypertensive responses. Seniors who build and maintain relationships are often at less risk for depression, as social isolation tends to be one of the key factors leading to depression in older adults. Chronic conditions and diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and even some cancers are noticeably reduced in seniors who participate in social activities. Studies reveal that seniors who are lonely tend to have elevated levels of proteins associated with inflammation and poor immune systems, while the immune system tends to be stronger in seniors who have strong social connections.
The benefits of social wellness are far reaching. We were made for relationships! Reach out and make connections. Today is a great day to make a new friend, or have lunch with an old friend. Seek out those opportunities to give to others. It truly will make a difference in a life! Lifetime Wellness strives to enhance the capacity to age well in every area of whole person wellness.