It turns out hanging out with your grandma can have positive effects on her health and even extend her life. A new study conducted by Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco discovered that loneliness amongst senior citizens plays a larger role in the decline associated with old age, according to The New York Times. That's right. You can help improve your grandparents' (and any other elderly family members or friends) quality of life by simply inviting them over for dinner more often. It's time to clear your schedule and make more time to hang out with grandma, so you can help her live longer.
The study that discovered this information followed a group of 1,600 adults that had an average age of 71. The members of the group who felt loneliness held higher mortality rates with 23% of lonely participants dying within 6 years of the study. Only 14% of members that described themselves as having "adequate companionship" passed away during that 6 year period.
There are also other ways to help your elderly relatives and friendship feel valued and loved. Helping them develop relationships amongst themselves is another helpful way to prevent loneliness. Many people believe placing their aging parents and grandparents in independent or assisted living environments, however, senior citizens often thrive in these living situations because they are able to forge meaningful relationships with their peers.
If Mom or Grandma isn't ready to move out of their homes just yet, no worries. You just have to make sure you're checking in on them and making sure they feel your love. It's easy to get caught up in our own busy lives, so we have to make an effort to invite grandma out to lunch or to see a movie on the weekend. She'll definitely appreciate the gesture.