As we age, having friends could be more important than having friends when we’re younger. We have put this article together to share 5 reasons older adults need friends and to let you know that at Baldwin House Senior Living, our staff and residents will quickly become your friends.

Connecting with people, and the importance of that simple act, was driven home during the pandemic when so many people – many of them senior adults – had to shelter in place. Isolation leads to depression. The simple act of calling a friend or doing a video chat or participating in activities helps ward off isolation.

Having friends isn’t just a nice way to have someone to talk with; having friends is a fundamental building block for a healthy lifestyle and healthy aging. We know that as we age, it’s not as easy to make friends. Senior adults may not get out of their house as often and if you’re not involved in activities outside the home, where can you make friends? Because our communities cater to older active adults, we have many activities and options for our residents to make new friends.

5 reasons older adults need friends

Here are reasons older active adults need to prioritize friendships and it should be put at the top of a “to-do” list.

  1. Having friendships wards off loneliness, isolation and depression. If older adults feel isolated and don’t have a sense of purpose, they tend to suffer declines in their emotional health as well as their physical health. Staying active and engaged helps seniors feel fulfilled. Consider connecting with your neighbors, attending events at local senior centers or even taking a class to help you stay connected and engaged.
  2. Cognitive health benefits from social engagement and connection. Older adults who have friendships are more prone to age in a positive way. Whether you’re learning a new skill, taking up a hobby or playing cards with friends, you could be boosting your mental health in a positive way.
  3. A study from the University of Chicago found, “loneliness can negatively impact your blood pressure, especially in older adults, and can increase it by more than 20 points.” This data shows us that lonely older adults just might suffer from more medical conditions than their counterparts who are active, social and fostering friendships.
  4. You just might live longer if you have friends! Now that, along with being able to positively age should motivate older adults to make new friends. Studies have shown that having friends helps people be happier, more resilient and live longer. Humans are hardwired to want to have contact with other humans. Make it a point to seek out and foster friendships and social connections. While face-to-face interactions are ideal, if your friends and families live too far away to have that interaction, a video call is a great way to connect.
  5. Find a friend to help motivate you. Accountability matters in many areas of our lives. If you have a friend who walks every day, you might be more inspired to join in and you’ll be more active as well. Find a friend who cooks healthy meals and set up a date to cook meals together. It might be easier to motivate yourself to take a class or join a senior center if you do it with a friend.

If having friends will help you live a longer, happier, healthier life, don’t you think it’s time to start making them? We understand it’s not as easy to make friends in your senior years. If you have friends, make certain you nurture and maintain those relationships.

We know the reason many older active adults make a move into a senior living community is that they want to find a community and make new friends.

Visit a community near you and ask what activities we have planned for our residents (and that includes those using our respite care services).  Baldwin House Senior Living, brought to you by the same people who founded American House Senior Living communities in 1979, is built upon the strong foundation of guiding families and empowering seniors.

Baldwin House combines care with compassion and dignity. We offer families peace of mind and give seniors who call Baldwin House home the freedom to live their very best lives. Call us today to schedule a visit. We’d love to meet you or your loved one!