Importance of Friendships as You Age

Importance of Friendships as You Age

Healthy aging involves several well-known factors, such us a well-balanced diet, regular physical activity, and quality nighttime sleep. In addition to these positive, healthy habits, having a supportive friend group can also have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Studies continue to show that social connections in your senior years are essential for enhancing overall health, well-being, and longevity. Keep reading to learn about the benefits socializing can have on your health and how to foster connections in your golden years.

Benefits of Socializing

Friendships prevent loneliness and depression.

One of the most apparent benefits of friendships is its ability to reduce loneliness, isolation, and depression in seniors. Seniors who lack social connections are more susceptible to declining mental and emotional health. At the same time, older adults with close personal friendships tend to be happier and more confident.  

Friendships reduce the risks of chronic diseases.

Studies show that seniors who have a strong social network are less likely to have common chronic diseases. Conversely, research suggests that older adults who are socially isolated are more likely to suffer from common systemic illnesses, like heart disease, stroke, and other conditions.

Friendships improve cognitive function.

Keeping your brain healthy is just as important as physical health in your senior years. The human mind requires regular stimulation to maintain optimal cognitive function. Friendships can play a major role in keeping the brain active and engaged. Fun activities, like learning a new hobby together, playing a game of chess, or simply engaging in conversations with friends can help enhance cognitive health and memory function.

Friendships encourage physical activity

Being social can also encourage physical activity in your senior years. Whether it’s walking, dancing, or golfing, exercising with a friend is a great way to increase energy levels and improve overall health. Similarly, friendships can motivate you to adopt healthier habits, such as attending a weekly water aerobics class, going for a daily walk, staying on top of routine doctor appointments, or making better food choices. Furthermore, once these habits are established, friends help keep us accountable.

Friendships improve ability to cope.

Friendships can enhance our ability to cope with big circumstances in life. Whether it’s the loss of a spouse, a health diagnosis, or a move to a senior living community, having a strong friend group can help you feel supported, increase resilience, and deal with hard challenges or transitions.

Tips for Making Friends

Making friends as an older adult can be intimidating and challenging. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to expand your social circle in your senior years.

Join an activity group

There are many clubs and groups that are specifically designed for older adults, like book clubs or knitting groups. Being part of a group gives you a sense of belonging while providing a way to meet other seniors with similar interests in your same season of life.


Volunteering is a great way to connect you to people young and old! Hospitals, community centers, schools, and animal shelters are always in need of volunteers.

Take a class

Learning a new skill or hobby is a great way to keep your mind sharp while also providing an opportunity to meet new people. Explore classes that interest you, such as cooking, history, or art. Join a group fitness class designed for seniors. Whether you’re doing group cardio with neighbors or walking in the park with friends, exercise is a great way to socialize while increasing your energy and physical health.

Discover New Friendships at Vista Grande Villa

Maintaining and building friendships offers a wide range of benefits for older adults, including improved mental, physical, and emotional health, as well as a greater sense of belonging and purpose. Older adults living in a senior living community have the added benefit of even more opportunities to socialize and make connections. At Vista, we provide various ways for seniors to engage with other residents through shared activities and planned events. To learn more about our vibrant community life, schedule a tour today.

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