It’s important for older patients with chronic conditions to stay physically active, and be aware of the benefits of social health and socialization. Social interaction can be just as effective as exercise at improving mood and quality of life. Staying socially active can help maintain good physical and emotional health as well as cognitive function. Older patients with chronic disease maintaining social interactions on a daily basis reduce their risk for cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, or depression.
Unfortunately, isolation among older adults continues to be a common concern. About 1 out of 3 older persons lives alone, half of whom are women. Social isolation can lead to being less physically active and feeling lonely. Maintaining healthy relationships that reinforce connection and social support is an important part of healthy aging. Continuous interaction with peers and family can sharpen the mind, and provides a better sense of belonging and connection.