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Socialization for Senior Mental Health

People are social – we crave human interaction, and we need it to thrive. According to Dr. Craig Sawchuk, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic psychologist, “We are social animals by nature, so we tend to function better when we’re in a community setting and being around others.” Unfortunately, seniors are more likely to isolate or experience loneliness than the rest of the population. A study by the UCSF Division of Geriatrics found that 43% of seniors regularly experience loneliness.

And as seniors get older, their risk of isolation increases. Mobility, ability and changes in technology or social circles can become a factor. Seniors and their loved ones may need to take proactive steps to stay engaged and connected.

The benefits of social interaction

According to the American Public Health Association, socialization improves mood, cognition and memory recall and is associated with healthy behaviors, including exercise. Connecting with family and friends through technology, exercise, games like bingo and cards, and other activities has a profound effect on the mental health of seniors.

Ways to stay engaged

Some great ways and opportunities to increase socialization in seniors include those often available in a senior living community, such as:

  • Exercise classes and walking groups

  • Happy hours and group outings

  • Regular phone and video calls with friends and family

  • Bingo or card games

  • Billiards, darts and other parlor games

Garden Estates of Temple is a senior community with a variety of programs and top-tier services in a charming setting. For more information: