Social Wellness Matters Too!
by Pam Hayle January 31, 2015
The Vital Aging Network has always embraced the importance of wellness for older adults. Our focus tends towards the physical aspects of life, from making lifestyle changes to disease management. But social health is also very important. Social wellness is the ability to relate to and connect with other people.
As individuals grow older, many find themselves more alone-either through divorce or tragic losses-and missing companionship they once had. They might miss sharing a meal with someone or find themselves reluctant to attend by themselves an activity they once enjoyed. Or, perhaps, they long to simply have someone to spend time with, experiencing life.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, it seems like a good time to address social isolation and loneliness for older adults. It sometimes takes a real effort to remain socially engaged when your life patterns, friends, maybe even interests and abilities change. I encourage you to make that effort, find someone who inspires you and engages your spirit of companionship and commune with one another for good social health. This is different than just keeping busy. It is the deeper relationship of giving and receiving that celebrates the spirit of Valentine's Day. Stay connected, be social and enjoy good health!
Ann Terlizzi - April 02, 2015
So very true! I work with elders who are more isolated and help them connect with a weekly visitor through the Senior Companion Program through Lutheran Social Service and we see time and time again how having that social connection each week improves their outlook on life and often their health.