Research studies keep confirming that having an active social life helps people of all ages, and especially those entering their senior years, to maintain good health and spirit.
Oscar Ybarra, psychologist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, discovered that just 10 minutes of conversation each day with a friend helped strengthen the memory of a group of people as old as 96. The short conversations worked just as well as doing brain games such as crossword puzzles to improve memory. Conversations also helped combat depression and loneliness.
“In our study, socializing was just as effective as more traditional kinds of mental exercise in boosting memory and intellectual performance,” Ybarra said.
With the advent of technology there are some wonderful ways the older generation can share their lives with the younger generation. For instance, it’s a simple thing to make a digital recording of grandfather’s and/or grandmother’s memoirs, and then share them widely. Just imagine listening to the life story of someone who lived through both World Wars, the rise of the automobile, telephone, computer, and space exploration. In addition to the wonderful personal stories about how grandma and grandpa met, how they were raised, their brothers and sisters, the friends, schools, teachers, and so much more. This kind of project will surely excite the elders among you.
Let us not forget the tried and true way of spending spare time; developing a hobby. Whether its painting, gardening, or piano; there is no question that having an activity to look forward to each day is a great way to develop skills, enjoy life, and stay engaged.