‘The elderly in Tehran doubles national average’

July 26, 2018 - 10:19

TEHRAN — The elderly living in the city of Tehran are twice as many as those living in the whole country, Tehran district 22 mayor Ali Nozarpour has said.

While in general the elderly constitute 9.27 percent of the population in Tehran they made up 18.7 percent of the city population, YJC quoted Nozarpour as saying on Monday. 

He made the remarks over the closing ceremony of a competition designed for increasing vitality among the elderly dubbed “first round of elderly vitality competition”.

“Getting old and decline in physical function should not decrease the elderly participation in cultural activities,” he noted. 

Getting involved in sports and recreational activities will rise the elderly spirit, he suggested. 

According to Greenbrier Assisted Living website unfortunately for many older adults, the opportunities for an active social life often decline along with their health and energy. As illness or mobility issues limit what they can do, the risk of isolation increases. Connecting with others who love us and share similar interests is important at any age, but for seniors, whose lifestyles may lessen their social opportunities, these connections are crucial to healthy physical and emotional well-being.

Dangers of Isolation

According to Diane Reier, Lifestyle Specialist, social isolation can be dangerous for seniors’ health. 

“Isolation is more than just feeling lonely,” Reier says. “A lack of connection with others can lead to poor emotional health, high blood pressure and a decline in physical health. Studies show that older adults who suffer from depression and isolation have a higher mortality rate than those more satisfied with their lives and relationships, making social engagement just as important as other steps to maintain physical and emotional health.”

Benefits of elderly social engagement 

Socializing can help older adults feel loved and needed as their lives are affirmed by the activities they do and by those with whom they interact. Being around other people, especially if you’re doing something fun or rewarding, helps the elderly to keep a healthy mental state with a positive outlook on life.

Enjoying the company of others who have similar personalities or interests helps the seniors feel like we belong somewhere. For those who may have lost a spouse or a close friend, the need to belong may be more intense. Engaging with others can cultivate new friendships, and doing something meaningful together creates lasting bonds.

Moreover self-esteem can plummet for those who have trouble doing as much as they use to or are alone too often. The more people socialize or participate in activities with others, the more they benefit by feeling like they contribute to their community. Any kind of positive interaction with friends, family or neighbors can help the older adults feel confident in themselves and their abilities.

The body release health-promoting chemicals that boost the immune system to ward off illness when we have good conversations or do things we love with others. Besides socializing promotes an active lifestyle and better nutritional intake. Seniors who are isolated are more likely to skip meals, whereas those who are socially active often share meals with friends and family.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, socializing is key to keeping the brain sharp as we age. Having an active social life encourages us to continue learning, observing and responding to the world around us. Conversation and activity are great for exercising the mind and can potentially lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally older adults are less likely to develop habits of declining self-care if they’re around others they care about. Socializing creates reasons to stay well and helps foster a positive state of mind.

And lastly socializing would help seniors too feel that their lives have a purpose. Having somewhere to go, something meaningful to do or people to see helps them get out of bed, excited to face the day. When they cultivate strong relationships with others, they gain a sense of fulfillment, and spending quality time with those they love reminds them that life is worthwhile.

Volunteering for local organizations, going to a senior living community for programs, visiting friends or family, or finding a group that focuses on similar interests can held seniors to socialize. No matter how they choose to socialize, research shows that the benefits nurturing relationships are well worth the effort.

MQ/MG

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