Social activities are vital for sustaining the mental and emotional health of older people. But don't just take our word for it - the research shows the life-enhancing benefits of staying engaged.
Older adults who participated on a daily or weekly basis in social activity had a 40% reduced risk of developing dementia compared those who were not socially engaged (Wang, Karp, Winblad, & Fratiglioni, 2002)
Among older adults with depression, those who were highly socially active were over 2.5 times more likely to have improvements in their depressive symptoms 2 years later than those with low social activity (Isaac et al., 2009)
The rate of cognitive decline was reduced by an average of 70% in older adults who were frequently socially active compared to those who were infrequently socially active over an average of 5 years. (James, Wilson, Barnes, & Bennet, 2011)
Older women who participated in organizational activities or study circles had half the likelihood of dying within a twelve year time period compared to those who did not participate in these social activities (Agahi & Parker, 2008)
The risk of developing a disability in activities of daily living decreased by 43% over an average of 5 years for each additional social activity engaged in; the risk of mobility disability decreased by 31% (James et al., 2011)
For every 1 point decrease on a social activity scale, there was a 33% more rapid rate of decline in motor function (e.g., grip strength, muscle strength) within an average of five years (Buchman et al.,2009)