Naturally, man is a social being and just like other social species humanity desperately craves for the company of others.
So, have you ever found yourself in a harrowing situation? Well, we’ve all been there…but the question is, how do you cope with your low moments?
Don’t even try denying it, when hell breaks loose, it takes just one loving hug, maybe a comforting word/text, or just the presence of a friend/family member to get you back in shape. But wait a minute, does your friend really gives you back your lost job or bring back to life my loving husband?
It’s hard to say this but the truth is that 99% of the times, even if they wanted to, your friends can actually do very little to help you with the real problem. Fascinatingly, however, their words of kindness and constant concern are incredibly therapeutic; giving you some heavenly vitality, energy and hope to confidently face your current situation.
So, ever pictured your life without friends? Maybe, celebrating your birthday or wedding anniversary all by yourself? Personally, it would a big blow which I doubt if I could ever recover from. This entire “life drama” narrows down to the simple fact that we are social beings, an aspect well perfected over billions of evolution years. Deeply engraved in our DNA coding, socializing devours us as the “monster inside me”.
Whether a kid, parent or grandpa/grandma socializing is an important aspect of life, however, as we get older factors like mobility limitation, health problems, exhaustion and drastic energy loss greatly take a toll on our social life. With the loved ones completely overwhelmed by their own discoveries and close friends experiencing a similar tide, most senior citizens unknowingly sink deeper and deeper into solitude life.
While isolation may not much affect younger people, a research conducted suggests that at advanced ages, solitude can result in total oblivion, psychological imbalances, health problems and poor life quality.
So, why is Elderly Socialization Important?
Well, becoming elderly has its pros and cons. Yes, you will get to enjoy the company of your numerous grandchildren and if blessed you will also get a chance to see one or two great-grandchildren. On the flip side, however, you will have to pay a heavy price of loneliness and solitude.
Seriously who said that the old people don’t need to socialize? Trust me; the elderly are not any different from us. Despite their advanced age they need to connect with others, make fun, smoke a cigar, and gulp a glass of tranquiller….well just live life at the moment. So, to thrive, the elderly need to deeply socialize with friends just like teenagers.
Benefits of Elderly Socialization
1. Reduces Stress and Depression
A research conducted by Harvard University suggests that seniors with an active social life tend to lead a happier and healthier life than their counterparts with less active social lives. The research further adds that the rate of death among loner elders was higher than their sociable counterparts.
Well, when you retire most probably you will retreat to your country home, away from friends and former colleges. This will cut you from the outside world, leaving you lonely and idle.
However, while in the company of loved ones you can easily evade cognitive decline, medical conditions (Alzheimer’s disease) and other disabilities. Additionally with friends around you will get to share daily struggles, discuss treading issues and also exercise frequently. With such a vibrant social life, stress and depression are bygones.
2. Improves Health
Alone, old and weak, most elderly people find it hard to maintain a good appetite. Well, personally I don’t like eating my meals alone. So, in solitude and with a poor appetite, most elderly people tend to often skip meals and when they eat they don’t take a balanced diet. Apart from weight loss, poor dieting can also lead to malnutrition and drastic energy loss. However, in the company of friends/family members, there is an appetite boost which helps keep them healthy and energized.
3. Helps Build Relationships
So, apart from adding life to their years and making them feel needed, socializing the elders is important in establishing stronger family bonds. Through daily casual talks, teasing and indoor games like playing cards your brains will remain super active and stable which is ideal to build a relationship.
How do the Elderly Socialize?
Well, they are old and probably delicate, so the idea of taking your grandma for hiking is out of the option. However, that does not mean that you should leave her alone. Seriously she will stall.
So, to help an elderly person feel young and accepted there a number of places to consider…
1. Go for Dinner
Mmmh! You may think that the elderly really detest the limelight? Well, this is a delusion that exists only in the imagination of the younger folks.
So, Grandpa how about a family dinner tonight? Drop your vibe that lightly…well at first he may seem not to buy the idea but trust me, deep inside he is as excited as a puppy. Occasional dinners in a café will give him a chance to bump into an old friend or even evoke past sweet memories. Additionally, with his family around him, he feels a proud and an important man. Apart from boosting his morale, family dinners come handy at breaking the monotonous environment of the old family house.
I would recommend you to give him a chance to choose where he wants to have his dinner.
2. Encourage him to join a Senior Center
Well, old is gold. Remember your elderly mom is way older than you are. So definitely on issues concerning life, she thinks that she is the wiser…
So, she may decide that you are more of a junior than an equal. Instead of messing her with your “stupidity” rather consider encouraging her to sometimes stick with other elites.
A senior center is one place elderly people can get to privately discuss the follies among the youngsters. By doing so, they get to socialize, share past memories and enjoy life.
3. Play a game together
It’s a popular saying and it goes this way, “idle hands are not good for the retired folks”. So why not try out gaming to spark up an old friendship? How about a little competition? Well, trust me he will beat you at it.
There are a number of games for the elderly but the most popular are Bingo, Bocce ball and Chess. Let him teach you one or two tricks. Well, age is just a number. The zeal and zest of engaging on that hobby are really strong.
Playing with fellow like-minded people helps them to deeply connect with each other and get to share memories and ideas.
So, here we come to the end of our article. So, at least you have learned a few ways how the elderly socialize. However, if you have any suggestion I would love it if you dropped it on our comment box. Trust me someone will appreciate it just as you have acknowledged mine.