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Friends Help You Live Longer and Happier Lives

October 6, 2016

You’ve probably seen images like this floating around on the Internet:

As funny as it is, there’s some hope and truth in this image. For our younger blog readers, we hope that your existing and future friendships last the test of time. And for older readers, maybe you have some friends that you see yourself having all kinds of fun in a nursing home one day. Either way, hold onto those close and dear friendships because they will help you lead a happier and longer life.

A recent study followed over one thousand senior citizens for a decade. The researchers found that those with a close network of multiple friends outlived those with fewer friends by 20%. Why is that?

Humans are social creatures, and social interaction is more vital to our survival than we may think. Since the beginning of time, humans have relied on group work and communication to build civilizations, fend off threats, and stay alive. That group dynamic is still in our genes. Whether we cut ourselves off from interaction, or if circumstances have lead us alone, it’s going to be detrimental to our physical and mental health.

Friends encourage us to keep healthy habits. A perfect example would be going to the gym; we’d be more likely to work out if we had a workout buddy. On a physiological level, those with more close friendships have better cardiovascular health, stronger immune systems, and release less amounts of cortisol (a stress hormone.)

This is so important as we get older. Depression becomes more common with age and could get exacerbated with any children growing up and moving out. You might not see your children as much any more, so having some close friends nearby can help fill that void. 

Our residents have made close ties with each other and our amazing staff. We all consider ourselves family at Centers Health Care, and we treat our residents just like we treat our most beloved loved ones. Learn more about our facilities at www.centershealthcare.com/locations

 

 

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