Living in Community Boosts Longevity

May 28, 2024

Written by Josh Miles

On the heels of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, many people have been feeling the effects of social isolation. In fact, the World Health Organization now considers social isolation to be a public health concern on par with smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise.

This has provoked a wave of recent research into the effects of isolation and social connection. A recent study released by a team of researchers at Rutgers University found that long periods of social isolation are associated with increased levels of stress, which in turn can have harmful effects on the nervous system and immune system, leading to an increased risk for various mental and physical health conditions.

By contrast, leading a healthy social life with a variety of long-term and fulfilling interpersonal relationships can have noticeably positive effect on health. For instance, regularly engaging in positive social interactions with people one cares about and respects is likely to lead to increased levels of dopamine release in certain areas of the brain associated with memory and learning. The increase of dopamine in these areas seems to be necessary to their functioning correctly, and without it one’s capacity to remember and to learn new things is likely to be greatly diminished.

Positive relationships also seem to play a very important role in longevity. Recent studies have even suggested that the effect of isolation on life expectancy may be similar to to the effects of smoking. A correlation has also been observed between regular, positive social interaction and a decreased risk of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

And so, considering all of this information, it’s important to think about what kinds of relationships you are forming, and whether you or not you are seeing your friends or family as often as you should. As you grow older these things become even more important, especially when considering how you would like to spend your retirement. There are many options available to you, such as remaining in your home for as long as you are able. But, if you are interested in forming lasting relationships you should consider a retirement community such as Garden Spot Village, where life expectancy in 2023 was measured as being around ten years longer than the average Pennsylvania citizen. This is very likely due, at least in part, to the many opportunities Garden Spot Village residents experience to form meaningful relationships.

If you are interested in exploring the abundant opportunities you have to live with purpose in community, contact Garden Spot Village today.

Previous ArticleUnlocking the Digital Age Next ArticleJune Endeavor 2024