Senior Social Life – The Power of Friendship
Friendship is part of the senior social life scene. It can be comparable to coffee. You need the sweetness, and the pleasantness of friendship, but not too much. The coffee gets ground – that is where you sometimes have to give in to keep a friendship strong. The hot water is similar to cleansing, a friend can show you where you have gone wrong and should fix something. The milk in the friendship, that is whiteness and purity, that helps to cover over and hide the difficulties in life.
Senior adults on the one hand are rich in wisdom and understand the power of friendship. On the other hand, senior adults sometimes need a little push to benefit from the value of friendship.
Let’s look at some of the great benefits of friendship and of having an active senior social life.
Strength in Numbers
We see from the concept of support groups, that people who share similar challenges can give each other strength. Similarly, seniors can give each other strength as they work their way through the challenges that accompany aging. Yes, it sometimes helps to have a little moan about aches and pains or more serious things.
One or more things could happen:
- The speaker will realize there is a point of strength in what they themselves are saying.
- The listener(s) will hear, empathize and offer condolences or emotional support.
- Practical ideas and solutions will be forthcoming.
- The speaker knew about a solution but were hesitant to do something about it. The listener will encourage in the right direction.
Friends in Groups for Recreation
Being part of group can enrich a senior’s social life. If you know you are going to meet your friends at a set time for a senior social activity, you have something to look forward to. You know there is a reason to dress up, maybe apply a little make up or put on a smart casual shirt. One advantage of an organized senior social activity is that all you have to do is become interested enough to sign up, and show up!
There are plenty of studies that connect joining in in senior social recreation groups and avoiding depression or dementia. If that isn’t a good motivator…..then having fun is!
So, up with social interaction and banish the blues. Up with recreation and banish social isolation!
Quiet Friendships, DMCs
Building meaningful friendships in the senior stage of life, can require more effort. Seniors are like people of all ages in that they must put aside characteristics such as shyness and feeling insecure to approach someone and become friends. The extra effort is required to overcome learned feelings of vulnerability and perhaps, memories that hold a person back. It is sometimes difficult to let go of the past and take a brave step into the future.
The effort is worthwhile. Friendships developed as part of a senior social life are more meaningful. DMCs (=deep meaningful conversations) between mature adults can mean so much more. You can learn so much from each other.
This section of the article is devoted to the quieter friendships, as opposed to recreation in groups. Sometimes you simply want companionship in a quieter state. People with similar interests could focus on a shared topic of interest, comparing notes. Your joined knowledge maybe awesome, gleaned over decades of study or helping people.
Quiet friendships can be strong, they can be intellectually stimulating or they can be relaxed.
On a security note and avoiding scams, if you do not know a new friend very well, find a mutual friend who can vouch for them. Take care and use common sense, especially if you encounter someone over the Web.
Keeping Healthy – Body and Mind
Here are some of the advantages of friendship for the body and the mind:
Sharper mental acuity
Lowers risk of dementia or depression
Helps avoid anxiety
Meeting people in person means you are not attached to an electronic device
Avoid challenges with weight (obesity)
Avert or reduce diabetes and high blood pressure
Correlation between number of social ties maintained and longevity
So we see the great advantages in investing in maintaining a vibrant senior social life. On an individual and group basis seniors can put in an effort and overcome the challenge of isolation. All that you reap are good things! Brew yourself a friendship and realize that a Companion Or Friend For Everyone is Essential!
Original Photo by Bruce Hong on Unsplash