The Benefits of Friendship for Older People

Your friendships will have been an important aspect of your life as those bonds with others meant you formed incredible memories and discovered new things.

However, as we all get older, those connections we have with others can become increasingly important. By having tight-knit bonds with others in your older years, you’ll be opening yourself up to not just better mental wellbeing but improved overall health.

Read on as we explore how friendship can benefit older people and how to increase your loved one’s opportunities for socialising.

The importance of friendship

Having friendships with others can be very beneficial as they reduce any feelings of loneliness or isolation that a person may experience. As we age and start our retirement, we will all find ourselves with more time on our hands that our families may not always be able to fill, leaving people feeling a sense of loneliness.

Feeling isolated can impact our health according to research from Brigham Young University. They have found that experiencing loneliness for long periods can increase the likelihood of premature death.

Loneliness can also damage a person’s emotional wellbeing, leading to disorders such as depression and anxiety. However, forming close bonds with others can negate this, helping a person to overcome negative feelings by creating a sense of belonging and purpose, alongside increased self-confidence.

Friendships can also play an essential role in how an individual can cope with traumatic events. This could be events such as divorce, the death of a loved one or severe illness. Having someone to talk to and lean on in times of need can be vital in overcoming those emotions of grief.

In addition to this, another important benefit of having bonds with others is that it can boost cognitive wellbeing. This is key for those experiencing dementia. By socially interacting with others and having conversations, the brain will become stimulated, exercising a range of cognitive functions.

Preserving friendships

Elderly people may begin to find it harder to preserve their ongoing friendships as when they get older communication and mobility may become harder, especially for those experiencing symptoms of dementia.

However, it’s important not to worry about the number of friends a person has as that’s not what necessarily matters. Instead, having a few close bonds with others will deliver the most significant benefits. Meanwhile, others may find more comfort in being able to surround themselves with others.

As such, it’s important to offer your support to your loved ones should they need a helping hand in communicating with others and making connections.

Expanding your friends

If your loved one has begun to feel isolated and lonely, it may be time to help them in finding new social situations.

You could first take explore opportunities to meet new people locally through community groups or day centres who offer activities that match your loved one’s interests. These are often listed in local newspapers or on community noticeboards.

If your loved one is finding it hard to get out and about, there are plenty of befriending services available. Age UK offers a range of services, including face-to-face befriending services and telephone friendship calls for the elderly.

It may also be the time to explore other options, such as moving into a residential care home. Many homes offer a range of support that enables individuals to retain an independent and healthy lifestyle while providing a great environment in which they can make new friends.

Based in Colchester, Essex, we provide a range of specialist support, including dementia care, creating a safe environment for individuals to meet new people and form fantastic connections.

If you’re interested in hearing more about Crouched Friars Residential Home, our team would be happy to talk to you. Contact us on 01206 572647 or email info@crouchedfriars.co.uk

< Back to news

Latest News

The benefits of spending time outdoors for residents with dementia

Posted on July 12th, 2024

Summer is finally here and it’s the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors and spend time in nature. The longer days and lovely weather encourage us to go out more, and we’re doing the same for our residents.   At Crouched Friars, we’re a team of dementia specialists and understand the impact a nurturing environment […]

Read more >

Steps to take after a dementia diagnosis

Posted on June 21st, 2024

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, the first few days can be quite overwhelming. A dementia diagnosis can often lead to feelings of fear, confusion, anger, sadness or loneliness. Post diagnosis is a crucial time when the person needs extra care and support to navigate their diagnosis. In May, we observed […]

Read more >

How to manage stress when providing dementia care

Posted on May 10th, 2024

Being a care worker is one of the most rewarding jobs. As a care worker, you provide care, support and companionship to people living with dementia. You help them maintain their physical and mental well-being and live a happy and healthy life. However, the emotional toll of caring for residents with complex needs, coupled with […]

Read more >

Supporting residents with dementia during sundowning at Crouched Friars

Posted on April 16th, 2024

Now that the clocks have moved forward and we have longer days, it seems like a blessing for most of us. However, this change can prove to be a big challenge for people living with dementia. At Crouched Friars, it is our priority to provide personalised and compassionate care for our residents living with dementia. […]

Read more >

Crouched Friars resident enchanted by musical at local school

Posted on March 18th, 2024

A 92-year-old resident who lived at Crouched Friars care home in Colchester fulfilled a bucket list item of watching a musical, thanks to The Wishing Washing Line initiative by FaNs network in Essex. Edwina Parker, attended Philip Morant School and College’s production of Matilda and had a “magical” evening. She was welcomed with flowers and […]

Read more >

Valentine’s Day celebrations at Crouched Friars

Posted on March 11th, 2024

Love was definitely in the air at Crouched Friars this Valentine’s Day – our day was filled with thoughtful touches and activities that brought smiles to everyone’s faces. Stepping into the common room was like stepping into a love nest. Heart-shaped balloons of every colour bobbed cheerfully from the ceiling, while rose petals and paper […]

Read more >