The importance of social interaction for elderly adults
As you get older you might not have quite as many opportunities to socialise as you did when you were younger. This can be due to a variety of reasons such as mobility difficulties or general frailty. People who continue to maintain close friendships and/or find other ways to interact socially tend to live happier, healthier lives.
An active social life can reduce depression, lower blood pressure and potentially lower the effects of other cardiovascular problems.
With 10% of people over the age of 65 admitting to feeling chronically lonely, it is vital that friendships for older people are developed. Social activities and interaction basically prevent your brain from getting ‘rusty’. It is therefore important for elderly adults to keep their social connections strong. There are some great initiatives in the local community to stimulate and encourage social interaction.
One of these initiatives is set up by a charity called Contact the Elderly.
Contact the Elderly is the only national charity solely dedicated to tackling this loneliness and social isolation amongst older people, through regular face-to-face contact. Contact the Elderly organises monthly afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people aged 75 and over, who live alone. These tea parties offer a regular and vital friendship link every month.
One Sunday afternoon a month, volunteer drivers take their older guests to a volunteer host’s home where they join a small group for tea, talk and companionship. The group is warmly welcomed by a different host each month, but the drivers remain the same and the groups are kept small so that everyone can join in and get to know each other.
Over time, the aim is that the connections and friendships made at the meetings turn into companionship. What a wonderful charity.
For more information about Contact the Elderly and/or a group near you, visit: www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk
To see what everyone gets up to, or to find out more, visit their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ContacttheElderly