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SOCIAL CONNECTION AS WE AGE

Apr 7, 2020

Creating a circle of friends is key to combating loneliness as you age.

Staying healthy and feeling your best means you can get the most out of life. Whether it’s beginning a daily exercise routine or making wise food choices. However, paying attention to building your social circle may be equally important in your journey to stay active and healthy.

Social connection and positive attitude.

Maintaining strong social networks, are important for our wellbeing and physical health. This is worth keeping in mind since ageing often brings with it changes in our lifestyle, career or family structure once kids and grandkids are grown and have flown the nest. However, did you know that Australians over 65 years are the least lonely compared to younger adults according to a 2018 survey?1

Here are some tips to help build your social network and maintain your circle of friends.

Share time with loved ones.

Staying connected can be as simple as chatting about your day by phone or catching up with family and friends online over a meal. You can also join online communities, as remaining connected is especially important for people who live alone.

Get stuff done.

Tackle a project you never seem to have time for or try a hobby you've wanted to explore and make a gift or memento. Maybe you have some painting supplies, or a collection of photos that you've been meaning to transform into a keepsake album to share online with family or friends. Even accomplishing tasks such as cleaning clothes closets or garages to declutter can be rewarding.

Good nutrition.

Changes to lifestyle and appetite can affect what and how much you eat, and without realising it you may not be meeting nutritional needs. Yet as the body changes with age, so too does its nutritional needs, for example its requirements for protein, calcium and vitamin D increase.2 Try new recipes for variety and sharing recipes is another great way to connect.

Move your body.

Keep moving – physical activity promotes mental as well as physical and social wellbeing. For inspiration or variety why not try online exercise activities. The benefits of regular exercise extend beyond physical health. A strong agile body is more resilient and helps you stay active and engaged with doing what you enjoy most. You’ll feel these benefits now and appreciate over the longer term.

It’s never too late to try new approaches and embrace social and lifestyle habits that support your health so that you continue to live life to the full.

References:

  1. https://psychweek.org.au/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Psychology-Week-2018-Australian-Loneliness-Report.pdf

  2. https://www.nrv.gov.au/

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