Benefits of Social Life Proven Again
The benefits of a good social life have been proven once again in new research. A study from Humboldt University points out that the final years of life, even when challenged by health problems, can be better for both men and women if they stay active socially.
“Our results indicate that living a socially active life and prioritizing social goals are associated with higher late-life satisfaction and less severe declines toward the end of life,” said Denis Gerstorf, Ph.D., lead author of the research published by the American Psychological Association.
Gerstorf and his colleagues analyzed data from more than 2,900 now deceased participants in the nationwide German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) Study, which included men and women. In this study, the researchers compared well-being, as measured by answers on a scale of 0 to 10 to the question, “How satisfied are you with your life concurrently, all things considered?”
One particularly intriguing observation, the authors noted, was that while low social participation and lack of social goals independently were associated with lower levels of well-being, when combined they each magnified the other’s effect.
Valuing and pursuing social goals may contribute to well-being by boosting feelings of competence, concern for the next generation and belonging, Gerstorf said.
Reviving friendships and renewing social activity could benefit older adults, particularly those who have been recently widowed.
There are many ways one can act on this research, whether it’s reviving an old friendship, finding new friendships through attendance or volunteering at a local senior center or perhaps making a connection with a local caregiving company whose services include companionship. Seniors who are alone might find a new friend with whom they can once again enjoy life.
This article was submitted courtesy of SFHN member Home Instead Senior Care