Recent Blog Articles

Relationships & Connections Archive


Lending a helping hand

People who devote time to helping others are often happier than those who don't. Serving others also helps brain health by increasing social connections, which can protect against loneliness and depression, and improving executive function skills like planning, attention, and remembering tasks. Common ways to help others include volunteering, mentoring, random acts of kindness, and seeing life from another person's perspective.

3 group housing trends for the 60 and older set

Three group housing trends can help ward off loneliness and isolation in older age. One trend is specialized communities, which are private mini-neighborhoods that promote shared activities, involvement with neighbors, and sometimes shared goals (such as providing stable lives for foster children). The communities are run by the people who live there or by nonprofit organizations. Another trend is home sharing—taking on a boarder or sharing a home with friends. A third trend is residential care homes, which are small assisted living facilities in private homes licensed by the state.

Validation: Defusing intense emotions

Validation is a valuable communication technique that can help people feel heard and understood. When used correctly it helps us understand  another person's feelings and establishes trust, particularly in situations with heightened emotions.

Bonds that transcend age

Intergenerational friendships typically involve an older adult and someone who's 15, 20, or more years younger. Studies suggest people can benefit physically and psychologically from such friendships. Friends of diverse ages can expose people to different experiences, attitudes, and approaches. To create intergenerational friendships, people can use a shared workplace or activity as a springboard for deeper connection. They should show genuine interest in the other person's life and experiences.

Denial: How it hurts, how it helps, and how to cope

Denial is a natural response at times when you're unable or unwilling to face the facts. As a defense mechanism, it can be helpful or harmful. Here's how to spot it in yourself and others, and how to move from denial toward meaningful change.

Creating communities that help support neurodiverse children

For neurodiverse children and their families, the landscape of friendships and social spaces can feel unwelcoming. Being more inclusive is a positive step, yet it takes more to create communities where everyone feels they belong.

What is somatic therapy?

Trauma can register within our bodies on a cellular level. What that means — and how best to heal from serious traumas — is the focus of somatic therapy, a newer form of mental health counseling that highlights how deeply painful experiences affect us and can be addressed through mind-body approaches.

Lessons learned from COVID

While the COVID pandemic changed how many people approached their health, the experience offers a teachable moment about how people can maintain new and improved healthy habits. Four areas that were most affected by COVID and enabled people to create positive changes are exercise, diet, medical check-ups, and social connections.

Sexual feelings

Feelings of sexual desire change for both men and women as they age. Sometimes the desire is more robust for only one partner, or desires fluctuate so much that partners are rarely in sync. Talking about these changes and exploring different ways to approach this new phase of sex can help both partners find mutual enjoyment.

Even a little socializing is linked to longevity

In a 2023 study of more than 28,000 older adults, those who reported socializing the most frequently lived the longest, compared with people who said they didn't socialize.

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