Year 2017
July 2017

Knowledge Resources

Fellowship Keeps Seniors Happy

Many studies have shown the benefits of fellowship on positive social, emotional and physical well-being. Having a strong circle of friends can be a good boost for aging hearts and can help the body’s auto-immune system resist disease. People who have one or more good friends are in better health than those who have only casual friends or no friends. Because of physical changes, loss and retirement, friendship is very important for older people. In many cases, friends are as important as families. Many people turn to their friends first when they encounter crisis. People without friends are likely to feel isolated and lonely. There are many ways that seniors can maintain late-in-life friendships these days, even if mobility or transportation is an issue. Seniors can meet up at regular local events at senior centres or other community facilities. They can arrange to go for daily or weekly outings with their loved ones or they can put together a hobby or activities group based around mutual interests such as reading, music, art, and handicrafts. Scheduling regular social events, something that establishes a routine, is great for seniors and provides them with something to look forward to. There are also a number of modern technologies that seniors can use to their advantage. Aside from phone calls with friends, seniors can participate in social media, such as Facebook and other online channels and communities. Communication tools such as Skype video enable seniors to see who they’re talking with, making it a more personal and enjoyable connection. By seeing and hearing the other person or persons, seniors can better enjoy “visiting” with grandchildren, old classmates, and friends across the country and even the globe. Without the pleasure of friendship, socialisation, and human contact, it becomes harder for seniors to find purpose and passion in daily living. It’s easy to underestimate how friendship and companionship can mean the difference between joy and sadness in someone’s life. It might help to remember this famous quote about happiness: “It has been said that we need three things in life – something to do, something to look forward to, and someone to love.” Having friends can fulfil all three.