Friendship becomes even more important as we get older just as it was in childhood. Our ideas and connections with friends help us grow and transform. As we age our friends become our support network. One of the biggest challenges for people as they age is loneliness. “Loneliness and social isolation are growing public-health concerns for people of all ages in the United States, from young adults to seniors. Studies have long connected loneliness to a range of health issues that could threaten longevity and well-being, including higher risks of heart attacks, strokes, depression, anxiety and early death.
In the study sponsored by the AARP, researchers from the University of Michigan surveyed a group of about 2,000 Americans ages 50 to 80. More than a third of seniors in the poll said they felt a lack of companionship at least some of the time, and 27% said they sometimes or often felt isolated; most of the people who said they lacked companionship also felt isolated, and vice versa. Almost 30% said they socialized with friends, family or neighbors once a week or less.”(1)
Science has proven what many of us already knew -friends make you feel better. Whether the friend is there for a reason, season or lifetime -nurture them and enjoy the benefits.Perhaps that is why social media is so popular as it makes us feel less isolated and more connected. But, relying on these apps is no replacement for the actual companionship found in real friends of any reason, season or lifetime.