Social activities are vital for sustaining the mental and emotional health of older people. But don't just take our word for it - 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.
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. Source: https://www.gov.mb.ca/seniors/publications/docs/senior_centre_report.pdf
A cognitively active lifestyle in old age may delay the onset of dementia in Alzheimer's Disease by as much as 5 years.
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.
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%.
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.
Social isolation, social support and loneliness displayed diverse relationships with CVD risk factors and risk scores, emphasizing the importance of distinguishing between these constructs. These findings inform on potential avenues to manage poor social health and CVD risk among older adults.
Research also shows that being socially active can benefit older adults. A study of more than 3,000 older adults found that making new social contacts was associated with improved self-reported physical and psychological well-being