6 benefits of having friends in old age

Having friends in old age has many benefits! Read this article to find out what those advantages are.

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz on September 08, 2021.

Last update: 08 September, 2021

By nature, human beings have a tendency to fear what they do not know. As old age is the last moment of the life cycle, it is normal to feel fear of reaching that stage. However, it is not a negative moment. In this article we will tell you about the benefits of having friends in old age and how this can promote personal well-being.

Old age is a time when people should think about enjoying more and living fully. In addition, it is usually a time when there is more availability to do leisure activities and self-care.

Benefits of having friends in old age

Bonding is important at any age. However, having ties of friendship when you are an older adult is essential for a good quality of life during a time full of changes. While friendships are cultivated throughout life, it is never too late to meet new people.

Here are some of the benefits of having friends in old age, whether you are entering this stage of your life or want to encourage someone close to cheer up.

1. Generates greater personal well-being

The National Autonomous University of Mexico conducted an investigation with 1056 older adults and found that those with an active social life had more personal well-being than the isolated ones. Likewise, the study pointed out that those who maintain an active social life and have a group of friends with whom to share and live, claim to feel happy.

Friendship in old age fosters a better quality of life, with a greater feeling of happiness.

2. Promote good self-esteem

Self-esteem is an assessment of ourselves that is influenced by various factors. It is reflected in the way we love, respect and take care of ourselves.

Having good friendships directly influences building good self-esteem. For this reason, having friends in old age is one of the best ways to face the changes and transformations that are experienced on a physical and emotional level.

It is important not to just think that you must have friends of the same age. Sharing with people with different views of the world and exchanging knowledge and experiences is very valuable.

Even grandchildren and their friends can enjoy hearing the stories of grandparents and feel admiration for them. The important thing is to have an openness to dialogue and be encouraged to share the wisdom that comes with the years.

3. It can lengthen the life time

A study published in the journal Jama Internal Medicine indicated that loneliness in older people can be a predictor of disease and fewer years of life. Often causes psychosocial distress that impairs physical and mental health. In contrast, having strong friendships allows you to cope with that distress and negative consequences.

4. Decrease stress

In most cases, socialization reduces stress and anxiety. Since emotional bonds are established in meaningful relationships, they become protectors against feelings of hopelessness or helplessness. In this way, stress is controlled and tranquility is promoted.

5. Stimulates the brain

People who have feelings of loneliness are more likely to develop dementia, according to the results of an investigation titled Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL). In this way, having friends has a positive impact on reducing social isolation. This, in turn, impacts on the decrease in the probability of developing cognitive problems.

6. Lets have fun

Although this seems like the most obvious reason, having good friends in old age offers the possibility of having fun and spending quality time with others. When you are relaxed and enjoying yourself, the hormones of happiness are released.

It is always a good time to share with someone achievements, remember good times or enjoy pleasant activities, such as taking a walk, eating a delicious meal or listening to good music. Although all these activities can be done alone, it is also necessary to live them together.

Sharing exercise routines in old age is a way to form friendships and take care of physical health.

How to make new friends in old age?

You are never too old to make friends. The first step to achieve this is to be clear about this aspect and eliminate the limitations. With a good disposition and an open attitude towards others, making friends is not so complex.

One of the best ways to meet new people is to get involved in activities, workshops at senior centers, or join a gym. The important thing is to do something that you enjoy and that allows you to meet people with affinities.

Likewise, social networks offer the possibility of connecting with people from all over the world and retaking old friendships. However, it is necessary to take precautions and make healthy use of them.

On the other hand, getting involved in activities like volunteering or community work is also a good way to meet friends. Finally, it is convenient to talk to the neighbors. The bottom line in all situations is to be open and friendly.

Don't forget the interior!

After knowing all the benefits of having friends in old age and how you can work on developing these bonds, it is important to know that you feel comfortable with yourself and strengthening self-love and self-knowledge is essential. Consequently, in order to have good social relations and establish stable and healthy bonds, it is necessary to work on the inside as well.

Although it sounds paradoxical, it is common that when trying to make new friends anxiety is generated because there is a pressure to feel pleasant in front of others. In this regard, it is convenient to cement self-love. Also, practice techniques such as mindfulness or meditation will be of great help.