Studies show spending more time with your parents may increase their lifespan
With the rise of social media, it is a known fact that people are not as connected as they used to be. Families gather to have everyone looking down at their phones, couples eating at a restaurant sitting side by side but not conversing, this is the growing trend. With less communication and less face to face interaction we see a larger increase of loneliness and depression along with linking to many other health issues. Our busy schedules and quick paced lives make it harder to take the time for family but it could make a difference in how long our loved ones live. Many studies show spending time with family, especially older adults can help in extending their lifespan.
A study from the University of California, San Francisco of about 1,600 adults around the age of 71, found that participants older than 60 years of age showed a more rapid decline in health and even earlier death as a possible result of loneliness. With this study they found loneliness to be a large factor to human suffering, with the feelings of isolation, lack of companionship and a greater sense of not belonging. They found that appx. 23 percent of participants who were said to be lonely died within 6 years of the study, as to only 14 percent of those who showed greater levels of companionship.
Ms. Moscowitz explains in an article from The New York Times “For a host of reasons, no one is addressing the individual’s daily needs — food, medication, medical appointments. The refrigerator is empty, but there’s no one to call. People suffer despair, humiliation.” She goes on to say “The need we’ve had our entire lives – people who know us, value us, who bring us joy – that never goes away,”
In the end we find that loneliness can have a large impact on our everyday health, spending time with friends and family encourages laughter and the sense of belonging. Many studies show how laughter can help to lessen the decline of health by boosting immunity, encouraging metal activity and even lowering blood pressure.
We can easily forget how important it can be to take the time for our loved ones, we tend to get wrapped up in our everyday lives and do not set aside time to spend with those we love. Make sure to take the time to visit your parents, grandparents and or friends. Put your phones down and just be there. Make that time to go fishing, meet for coffee, or even just enjoy a simple phone call, you never know the difference it might make.