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Social Contacts For Long-term Health

Building social contacts is a vital part of the secret of maintaining a healthy life even into old age. Equally important is the quality of these contacts.

Old-age will limit our physical abilities but character and attitude, developed earlier, will determine how we overcome these limitations.

Research has shown that the happiest of the elderly :

  • had minor physical disabilities ;
  • had regular social activities ;
  • could still think and reason well ;
  • had an overall feeling of well-being.

In many cases, these elderly persons were able to keep-up socially because they had spent a lot of time cultivating relationships with friends and family when they were younger, and such investments in their time paid big dividends in terms of avoiding depression and staying vital in later life. Some requirements

  • Develop a practical sense of what it means to be healthy at an older age. You will no longer be able run a mile in four minutes but a mile at any speed should be appreciated.
  • Continue to socialize. The relationships you built will help you prevent being isolated and depressed in later life.
  • Don't let fear and depression make you feel trapped in your old age.
  • Focus on what you still can do, and on what you still have, rather than what you have lost.

Remember, the happiest people are those who are comfortable with themselves and who still have people in their lives they like. The successfully-aged, ie those who function optimally, and have a high sense of well-being, regard social contacts as being most important.

Successful ageing does not mean there is no sense of loss, but rather, accepting the loss and continuing to appreciate what you still have.

10/22/03







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