Social health and senior health are deeply connected. As we get older, isolation and lack of interaction with others is a growing concern. But first…
Social health has different meanings to different people.
Everyone knows what physical health is, or what mental health means. But social well-being can be that of an individual or society as a whole.
For society at large, it could be the rule of law, or equal distribution of wealth, or equal opportunity for all.
With these ideals - and others - in place, we all can fully function as citizens in society. That’s one worthy aspect of social health.
The other type of social wellness is how the individual connects with others. This has to do with the ability to interact and respond in one’s personal sphere of activity and interest.
I believe that in order to be socially healthy, we as seniors would benefit from being physically and mentally in good health as well.
It gives us more options. And opportunities. And joy.
My aim here is the improvement of the overall health of seniors - the physical, the mental and the social.
Seniors who are well-rooted and active in their communities can expect to live a longer and more fulfilling live. They also tend to recover from illness faster.
The opposite is also true.
It is clear that social isolation is a risk factor for chronic conditions and diseases. These may lead to mental as well as physical problems, including a shorter lifespan.
For us as seniors, the moving away, institutionalization or passing away of mates and friends is an additional and unfortunate contributor to isolation.
Physical restrictions due to lack of exercise and/or a poor diet may lead to isolation and withdrawal from family and friends.
So, we need to talk about social well-being by way of adjustment in nutrition and physical activity.
A healthy body and mind are our most valuable assets.
I’d like to offer another point for you to consider --
Mutual social support is also commonly viewed as a vital aspect of social well-being.
Staying connected with family and friends simply cannot be valued highly enough. We thrive on it.
Socializing and support from others - especially your peers - greatly reduces the incidence of disease. It reduces certain stresses that may lead to unhealthy conditions, including mental and emotional ones.
Health professionals in the mental and the physical field are now recognizing the importance of this issue with regard to preventing or overcoming illness.
If you have questions or input regarding the subject of social health - and how it relates to your physical and brain health - please feel free to contact me.
Your health, vitality and longevity are what matter most.
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