Being socially active keeps a person’s brain feeling young. While most people agree that young children need to mingle with friends, many forget about the senior citizens in their lives. As it turns out, finding time to socialize is crucial to the well-being of elderly individuals living in California.

Where can seniors meet other people their age? The dining room is a great place to start. Gathering around the dinner table with friends is the perfect way for the older generation to stay active. Eating at least one meal a day with others will improve their overall quality of life. Here’s why socializing over food is essential for people as they age.

Improves Mental Health

Senior citizens aren’t immune from mental health disorders. Depression affects nearly six million people over the age of 65, but they don’t need to suffer in silence. Social interaction can help reduce the symptoms. Those who regularly talk with friends and family have lower stress levels and often sleep better during the night.

Food is much more than nutrition, it also stimulates the mind. During a meal, people talk about the day’s events, reminisce about the past, and plan for the future. Finding time to dine with an elderly loved one may improve their mental health. Those who are prone to anxiety or depression may even find that mealtime socialization helps them live a more fulfilled, happier life.

Provides Better Nutrition

There’s nothing enjoyable about eating alone every single day, and those who do often choose convenience over nutrition. After all, it’s easier to grab fast food than it is to cook a four-course meal. Some will even skip meals entirely. Unfortunately, malnutrition is common among the elderly, and it can lead to devastating health problems down the road. Poor nutrition can cause anemia, constipation, and other digestive issues.

Socializing at the dinner table is an excellent way to promote better eating habits. That’s why group meals are a popular amenity in nearly every senior living community. Talking with friends during a meal encourages residents to eat more, ensuring everyone gets enough calories during the day. They are also more likely to eat a well-balanced meal full of vitamins and minerals.

Creates a Sense of Purpose

Too many seniors in California isolate themselves from the outside world. They become reclusive and don’t leave the comforts of their home. Over time, they may lose their purpose in life. Physical limitations and health issues may be to blame, but it’s still possible to schedule time with others their age. Senior citizen socialization creates a renewed sense of self-worth.

Many seniors choose to live alone, but it’s not always the best choice. Loneliness increases a person’s mortality risk by up to 32 percent. Those living in a residential community usually have more opportunities to socialize with others. In addition to providing housing, these communities also offer group meals, arts and crafts, music, and other events. Partaking in a few activities each will boost a person’s self-esteem and give them a more positive outlook on life.

Increases Physical Activity

As people age, they often begin to slow down. The more they stay isolated in their home, the less they move. This lack of physical activity can lead to various health problems, including muscle atrophy, weight gain, insulin resistance, and slowed digestion. Reduced movement can also affect a person’s mind. Exercise helps to improve concentration, memory, and mood. However, without motivation from others, many seniors forgo physical activity altogether.

Seniors who find time to socialize also tend to increase their physical activity. Dance lessons and taking low-impact aerobics classes are always more fun with friends. However, hitting the gym every day isn’t necessary. Even walking downstairs to join guests around the dinner table improves circulation and may even lower blood pressure.

A Place to Socialize

Tiffany Court of Walnut Creek is a premier assisted living community in California. Residents enjoy a wide range of services and amenities, including restaurant-style meals, plenty of social activities, and fully furnished suites. Whether in need of long-term housing or respite care, we have flexible plans for everyone.

Remaining independent is vital to people as they age. However, staying cooped up at home may prevent much-needed socialization. It’s best to find a place to meet up with friends and family. Assisted living provides the best of both worlds. Seniors get to enjoy their freedom, but they also gain new neighbors who are the same age. Those who move into one of these communities usually wish they did it sooner.