People thrive on social interaction. The more we engage with others, the more positive benefits we experience, especially as we get older. Staying socially connected has been proven to improve seniors’ overall health and happiness. The opposite can also be said – social isolation and loneliness are linked to health risks and can negatively impact a person’s quality of life.
Social connection is a basis for overall wellness. However, many seniors tend to interact more with their peers, and today’s generation of millennials tend to spend more time online than with their family. This can create a gap, or divide, whereby seniors miss out on the benefits of socially interacting with people from different generations.
Seven Benefits of Connecting with All Generations
- Each generation has a different story to tell: Each generation of people has a unique perspective on the world. Baby boomers grew up in a world without the internet, and generation Y couldn’t imagine a world without it. Each generation has a story to tell about their experiences, and seniors can learn a lot about today’s youth and society by connecting with them.
- Pass on your wisdom: Older people are wise. They have seen the world take shape over the past few decades, have experienced things that newer generations haven’t and can pass on this wisdom to younger generations.
- You can learn something from each other: While people tend to think of seniors as great storytellers and sources of advice, there is a lot that seniors can learn from other generations.
- A sense of belonging: It’s no secret that many older people feel out of touch and out of the loop. Making an effort to connect with younger generations will help you stay in touch with modern life and gain a deeper understanding of what your children, grandchildren, and others are going through.
- Rejuvenation: Young people, especially children, have a certain energy that is contagious. Being around this energy can help older people connect with their “inner child” and find a new source of energy to provide them with a renewed focus on health, wellness, and overall wellbeing.
- Break out of your bubble: Many older people get stuck in their ways. They follow a similar daily routine and stop experiencing new things. Connecting with younger people will open the door for them to try new things, have new experiences, and rediscover the enjoyment of life.
- Teach an old dog a new trick: Let’s face it; most seniors have issues using technology. However, technology is also an opportunity to socially interact with family and friends. Younger generations can teach seniors how to use a computer, smartphone, and social media to connect to the digital world. DISCLAIMER – You may need to be extra patient!