I love spending time with my mom. Some parent-child relationships aren’t perfect; they all have rocky periods. The teenage years can be a rough time, but as children age, they also mature. But even as adults, we might not spend as much time with our mothers as either of us would like. A 2012 study found that loneliness plays a significant role in the decline of the quality of life of older adults. It can lead to depression, cognitive impairment and health problems like coronary artery disease and even early death.
The study examined 1,600 adults with the average age of 71 over a 6-year period. It learned that 23% of the participants who reported being lonely died within six years of the study. In contrast, only 14% of those who reported having companionship died during that same period.
There is a connection between social ties and one’s health. A 2010 study reported that having social conections with others can be just as crucial to extending life as losing weight if you are obese or active if you’ve previously led a sedentary lifestyle.
“Our social relationships are important not only to our quality of life but also our longevity,” said study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, to WebMD.
“Throughout human history, we have relied on others for survival such as protection and food, and despite modern advancements that may [help with] certain aspects of survival so that we can live more independently, it appears that our relationships nonetheless still impact odds of survival.”
Social isolation and loneliness are unhealthy for us as we age. The latter is a worse health risk than smoking or obesity. If you have friends or family, hopefully, there is a lot of laughter. This has been shown to boost immunity, lower blood pressure and stimulate both blood flow and mental activity. It can aid in declining health.
So kids, call your moms. Better yet, drop in and laugh a little.