Social engagement, or how connected you are to other people, can be as important to healthy aging as not smoking or maintaining a good weight. Research shows that socially isolated older adults are at greater risk of sickness, disability, and even premature death. Social engagement promotes overall health and allows people to cope better with a health crisis. Social engagements, including frequent conversation and being in new and challenging social situations, may also help to preserve memory. Volunteering is a good way to foster social connection.
To continue reading this article, you must login
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.