Relationships, both platonic and romantic, are essential for adults of every age. The theory of interpersonal neurobiology is dedicated to exploring how the relationships that we have with one another can affect our mood and our brains. Studies find that our brains are social organs, and we are hardwired to connect with each other and interact together. How can a romantic relationship improve mental health in the elderly?
One study of 7,000 people over a 9-year period found that those who had more social ties experienced a whole host of benefits. Most notably, they lived longer, regardless of drinking, smoking, obesity, exercise or socioeconomic status. Social relationships can help you to destress and find meaning in the world around you. Another study that researched nuns, who have notable longevity and low incidences of dementia as a demographic, found that their close-knit community helped them to thrive. The positive emotions and connections built through their living situation might have helped them to enjoy longevity and keep their brains active.
Beyond platonic relationships, romantic relationships can also help to enhance our lives. One of the neurological factors behind this is called allostatic load. This load represents the physiological consequences of being chronically stressed. Positive social experiences and increased social interaction can be directly connected with lower allostatic load. Put simply, the more that you love and connect with others, the lower that your stress levels will be.
Love later in life can help people to find fulfillment in something outside of their individual interests. Instead of just finding support for yourself, you can also gain satisfaction from supporting someone else. Staying engaged in a romantic relationship also helps to keep your mind sharp. Whether your loved one likes doing puzzles with their significant other or staying up late having conversations, a girlfriend or boyfriend can help them find satisfaction every day.
Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect.
For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website www.seniorcarelifestyles.com.