Socializing key to ‘successful aging’

| November 3, 2012

No doubt one of the most pressing issues we face is how to provide care for the chronic diseases associated with aging. Support for nonprofits like Tucson OASIS, and for senior programs county-wide, is a start. The Mayor’s Task Force on Seniors is talking about the issues of transportation, a very complex issue especially as most of us prefer to age “in place”. How do we facilitate socialization while spread so far apart? Will social media prove to be effective in the long run?

Nearly a quarter of seniors said they’d like to participate in more social activities, according to a new report by Statistics Canada. The agency released the first nationally representative study on barriers to social participation by seniors on Wednesday.

“Social engagement — involvement in meaningful activities and maintaining close relationships — is a component of successful aging,” wrote Heather Gilmour of Statistics Canada’s health analysis division.

“The results of this analysis highlight the importance of frequent social participation to maintaining quality of life.”

The study looked at the relationship between the number of social activities seniors did and their:

Self-perceived health.

Loneliness.

Life dissatisfaction.

Overall, an estimated 80 per cent said they were frequent participants in at least one social activity, such as seeing relatives or friends outside the household, attending church or religious activities like a choir or sports at least weekly or attending concerts or volunteering at least monthly.

It may be that social support gained through social contacts is as important as the number of activities in which one participates frequently, Statistics Canada says. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)

“The greater the number of frequent social activities, the higher the odds of positive self-perceived health, and the lower the odds of loneliness and life dissatisfaction,” Gilmour said.

via Socializing key to ‘successful aging’ – Health – CBC News.

Category: Aging, Health

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