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Why is socialization important among the elderly?

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Socialization plays a large role in maintaining quality of life as one ages. Research has shown that those older adults, who have strong social networks seem to have a higher quality of life, live longer and are healthier compared to those with little social support. Our Assisted Living Home Care in Houston Texas, Apex Oaks Assisted Living Memory & Care, has outlined a list of benefits you can get through socialization.

1. Strengthens immune system
Your immune system is critical to helping you fight off and prevent diseases. Socializing has been proven to increase life span and to make people less susceptible to common colds. Those who socialize more have also been found to be able to recover more quickly from sickness.

2. Lowers blood pressure
Several studies report lower blood pressure in people with strong social ties. Another study reported that elderly people who like to eat out, go to movies and take part in other social activities live an average of two and a half years longer than people who spend most of their time alone.

3. Improves brain health and memory
Social interaction can be just as beneficial to boost your memory and mental functions than doing a crossword puzzle or playing brain games. It also wards off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. If you want to boost your memory, get out and start talking to people.

4. Reduces depression
Social support seems to affect our balance of hormones. Adequate amount of social support is associated with increases in levels of a hormone called oxytocin, which functions to decrease anxiety levels. You don’t feel alone since you feel a connection with someone else. As a result, you naturally feel happier and better.

5. Reduces impact of chronic pain
Combat loneliness by engaging in activities with friends and family members. If you have physical limitations, find accommodations that will allow you to enjoy the company of others. Use your problem-solving skills to create solutions and avoid excuses. The emotional and physical benefit of engaging with others is immeasurable.

6. Improves health
Social time boosts your physical health. In research conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center, socialization has been linked to some major health benefits, such as an increase in immune system performance, lower blood pressure, and a decreased risk for rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis, and even some cancers.

7. Improvement in your primary relationships
Social relationships are just as important to health as other common risk factors like smoking, lack of exercise or obesity, new research shows. Research shows that people who have strong family ties have a 50 percent lower risk of dying over a given period of time than those with fewer social connections.

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