How socialization improves the health of older adults

A life shared with others is more fun – and it's good for your health, too.

January 25, 2022

2 min read

Atria Senior Living residents enjoying tea together

Studies suggest that adults ages 65 and older who interact with people beyond their usual circles of family and friends are more likely to stay active and have a positive outlook. Let’s go over some of the many physical, mental, and emotional benefits of socialization for seniors.

How socialization provides physical benefits

A lifestyle that involves being social – taking a walk with neighbors, listening to other people’s stories at dinner, or showing up to a happy hour get-together – can keep seniors alert and engaged. Plus, it may lessen the possibility of being isolated or sedentary, which often leads to detrimental health outcomes in older adults. Research suggests that people who enjoy social support are more likely to keep going to the gym or maintain a fitness regimen. Which makes sense: Our friends and peers can jog with us in the morning, swim laps with us, or encourage us to never give up on our goals.

How socialization strengthens mental health

Social activities for seniors provide as many mental benefits as they do physical benefits. Residents who belong to a senior living community and often engage with others might experience fewer feelings of loneliness and depression, which can become a concern for the millions of older adults in the US who live alone. In a community, though, their cognitive skills may become sharper, because humans are social by nature. Face-to-face contact with others releases neurotransmitters that help us regulate anxiety – and make us more resilient.

How socialization improves emotional wellbeing

The emotional benefits of social events and workshops for seniors are intuitive: Strong social connections and satisfying relationships correlate with longer lifespans. Making new friends, having people close to you who you trust, valuing the advice of confidants, or sharing a laugh with a neighbor can improve anyone’s well-being and sense of stability.

Find your community

At Atria, we promote a culture of socialization for older adults because we believe that people belong together. We created Engage Life programs to provide programming that enhances residents’ lives through workshops, travel outings, and other opportunities to socialize. Find out more about opportunities to learn and discover new goals at Atria.

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about Atria, visit to discover the location nearest you.

Illustration of three men gardening, one with a wheelbarrel of supplies, one water flowers and one planting flowers

Not sure where to start?

There’s a lot to learn when you become a caregiver, and you may be wondering where to start. Fortunately, many of the experiences you’ll encounter are common, and we've pulled together resources to help you along your journey.

Top Articles