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Social Activities Improve the Quality of Life of Older Adults

Ron B
Recreational activities are important to maintain good health.

It's a blessing to be able to live a long, happy, and healthy life.  However, as we get older, we begin to experience various types of minor and major health problems.  With age, a sense of isolation and loneliness may develop as we begin to lose friends and family due to death or other reasons. 

West Monroe Mayor Staci Mitchell discussed some of the primary needs of older adults to add quality of life to the aging process.  She identified health care as the "#1 priority" but pointed out that "activities, recreation, and social needs" of older adults are equally important and need to be addressed to enhance their quality of life. 

"They may lose a spouse or their children move away.  Their friends may be deceased as well.  They lose the social interaction."

Mitchell cited her father's example to highlight the importance of social activities and recreation to improve the overall health of an older person. Mitchell's father underwent a double bypass surgery after a heart attack that seriously affected his quality of life. 

"The cardiac rehab prescribed for him made him go exercise and made him be with people."  Then, he got involved with pickleball.  Being with a group of people playing pickleball provided him with the needed physical exercise along with good social interactions.  The combination of physical and social activities improved his quality of life significantly.

Anita Sharma Ph.D., LCSW, is a Gerontology and Social Work Educator, Researcher, and Practitioner. She holds an M.A. in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, a prestigious social sciences university in India, a Master of Social Work (clinical practice) and a Doctorate in Social Work from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Louisiana and serves as a pro bono consultant to various agencies.
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