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Being Connected to a Community is Good for Senior Health

Nov 8, 2017 | Health and Wellness, Life at Ávila

Being part of something bigger than yourself—it’s one of the best ways to ensure you’re an active and engaged member of the world around you. It’s especially important for us as we age. Being connected to a community is good for senior health. It can be easy (especially when cold weather sets in) to stay home alone. But staying connected comes with a whole range of benefits you’ll want to consider when you’re tempted to just stay in.

The Benefits of Being Connected to a Community

Enlighten Your Mind– The world is filled with smart and talented people. If you love to learn, get out there and get chatting! The options are truly endless. You could pick up a new card game, learn how electricity is made, or get a history lesson.

Studies have also shown that keeping strong social connections can improve and preserve our memories. Your brain is a powerful tool. Get out there and share what you know!

A Healthier You– According to Harvard, social connections “influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking.” Living a long and happy life is something we all strive for. Being part of a community can help you achieve it!

A Happy Heart– Venturing out to share time with loved ones can help to keep your blood pressure lower. And that’s not all—just the act of moving around is really great for you! Starting a walking group, join a fitness class with friends or play hide and seek with your grandchildren.

Tai Chi at Avila Retirement Community

Tai Chi at Avila (photo courtesy of Max Tiller)

Why Friends Matter

According to the Mayo Clinic, building and maintaining lasting friendships can:

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose.
  • Boost your happiness and reduce your stress.
  • Improve your self-confidence and self-worth.
  • Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one.
  • Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise.

wine and cheese at Avila Retirement Community

Wine and cheese around the piano at Avila (photo courtesy of Max Tiller)

A study in the Netherlands showed that adults who reported being lonely developed dementia at a rate of 13.4 percent, while their less-lonely counterparts developed dementia only 5.7 percent of the time.

Whatever community means to you, being a part of one can make a lasting difference in your life. So get out there and make every moment count!

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