Since the time immemorial, moms have been considered to be inexhaustible sources of unconditional love and care. We’ve seen them fight for us, cry for us, be proud of us and it has sometimes been difficult with us.
Nevertheless, we loathe the idea of our mothers going away from us. Do you often wake up from a nightmare and call for your mother? Or surprise her with unplanned house visits? Then, do that more, because, according to a study, it helps them live longer!
Loneliness plays a determinant role in the downfall which is linked to old age, according to the study that was conducted by the researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.
When people grow older, many of their relationships come and go. Sadly, even the lasting ones start to wither away with the passing of age. The people they’ve shared a considerable amount of their time with might not be around to check on them.
Children often leave their parents alone when their age becomes a burden to them. Little does anyone anticipate that our old folks will go away so far that one might not get a chance to say goodbye.
The understanding of the risks of isolation and an underpopulated, disconnected life can be elusive for many reasons. For example, if no one is addressing the individual’s daily needs — food, medication, medical appointments,” Ms. Moscowitz explains. “The refrigerator is empty, but there’s no one to call. People suffer despair, humiliation.”
Social isolation and loneliness can take a severe toll on older people, psychologically and physically. (Over 75, almost a quarter of men and nearly 46% of women live alone, the Census Bureau reports.)
“The need we’ve had our entire lives — people who know us, value us, who bring us joy — that never goes away,” Barbara Moscowitz, a Senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital told The New York Times.
Loneliness brings its dangers; studies have demonstrated that loneliness has correlations with higher blood pressure, nursing home admissions, risky health behaviors, such as inactivity and smoking, and with dementia.
The elder individuals consider bonds much more seriously than their children or grandchildren do; therefore forgiveness comes quickly to them. Rosemary Blieszner, an instructor of human development at Virginia Tech says that it comes down to the essential relational skills and that the skills our grandparents possess have been honed over a lifetime.
Due to these skills, their friendships are much stable and accepting of the idiosyncrasies and imperfections that their friends have. “You bring a lot more experience to your friendships when you’re older. You know what’s worth fighting about and not worth fighting about.” Rosemary states.
Besides the older relatives and friends that are invited home, its necessary to promote relationships of their level. Often the assisted living environments are misunderstood. However, this widespread belief is misplaced. The older folks tend to thrive in living situations where they can connect and mingle with multiple people of their age. When the quality of their time increases, their longevity becomes more concrete.
Your Grandma and Grandpa can benefit significantly if you spend time, that is, quality time with them on a regular basis. That being said, it helps the young to learn from their experiences too. The interactions they hold with their family gives them the crucial companionship and expression which is essential for life at that stage.
The way we prioritize friendships may evolve. Laura Carstensen, a Stanford University psychologist, developed an influential theory called “socioemotional selectivity”: As people sense their remaining time growing brief, they shed superficial relationships to concentrate on those they find most meaningful.
The study establishes an exhaustive base of cases to support their findings – friendship does and statistically helps save lives and extend healthy lives further. This can prove to be an excellent opportunity for social worker and researchers to pay more attention to the central role of friendship in such matters. Activity directors, senior center staff members, and family caregivers can capitalize on the role of friendships; find better ways to help the elders stay in touch with one another or make new ones.
This article is posted here with permission from Humans Are Free.