How a Romantic Relationship can Improve Mental Health in the Elderly

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?

The Importance of Connection

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. 

The Benefits of Love Later in Life

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. 

How Can You Help Your Loved One Build Good Relationships?

  • Look for groups for seniors in your community that align with your loved one’s interests
  • Check out classes online or at a local community center that they might be interested in
  • Search for volunteer opportunities in the community
  • Explore the world of online and in-person social groups, like Veterans Clubs or Red Hat Society

Care for Your Senior Loved Ones with Senior Care Lifestyles

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

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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