Why friendships are good for our health

Friendships can help us to feel happier in life, but did you know that having a supportive circle of friends can improve your health, boost your immune system, sharpen your memory, and may even help you to live longer?

Friendships can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing, particularly as we get older. The benefits of friendships during our golden years include:

  • A sense of belonging
  • Emotional support during tough times
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Motivation to adopt healthy habits
  • A boost to our self-esteem and feelings of self-worth
  • Keeping our mind sharp
  • Lifting our mood and warding off depression

Making and maintaining friendships

Sustaining friendships and forging new ones can become more challenging as we get older. For many of us, common life changes, such as retirement, children leaving home, and health challenges, can start to erode our social circle, and as a result, this chips away at our overall wellbeing.

However, there are a few simple ways to make and maintain these all-important friendships, including:

  1. Make sure you keep in touch with friends and family and you take care of these relationships.
  2. Seek out a new hobby or interest that will help you to connect with other like-minded people.
  3. Try to keep up to date with technology so that you can stay in touch with friends and loved ones – whatever the world decides to throw our way!
  4. Make a routine of making time for a friend or family member every week or whenever you can get together.
  5. Don’t worry if you feel like you aren’t great company on a particular day. We all experience the same feelings from time to time. It may just lift your spirits to be with someone when you feel that way.

Impact on our health

Research has shown that a lack of social connections as we get older can be as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. With links to cognitive decline, depression, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and even dementia, it’s essential that our friendships are maintained in later life.

That’s why we’ve designed our communities so that you can enjoy a varied and exciting social life. From organised events and activities where you can explore new hobbies and make friends with like-minded people, to our on-site Slate & Grain brasserie and bar where you can meet family and friends over afternoon tea or a spot of lunch made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.