Who doesn’t love spending time with your family, well it looks like the most time you spend with them, the longer they will live. This study is mainly about your mom, so I will refrain from any of those jokes.
A study conducted back in 2015 showed that if a person isn’t hanging out with their family their risk of premature death is increased by 25% and the chance of clinical dementia increases by 64%. So basically don’t forget about your family!
Julianne Holt-Lunstad who is a professor of psychology at Brigham Young University had this to say about our relationships:
“Our social relationships are important not only to our quality of life, but also our longevity.
Throughout human history, we have relied on others for survival, such as protection and food, and despite modern advancements that may (help with) certain aspects of survival so that we can live more independently, it appears that our relationships nonetheless still impact odds of survival.” H/T Happiest
I mean it’s basic logic, we don’t really need science here. If you hang out with people you’re happier, so why would it be any different for our family members? Also if you have gotten this far and haven’t called your grandparents or parents at this point, what are you doing?
Holt-Lunstad also said this about loneliness:
“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need—crucial to both well-being and survival.
Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment.
Yet an increasing portion of the population now experiences isolation regularly.”
The “Campaign To End Loneliness” concluded in their study that 17% of elderly people only see loved ones once a week and even worse 1 in 10 of them only see family or friends once a month.
In this survey, they found that the television is senior citizen’s main source of companionship. Laura Alcock-Ferguson, the director of the Campaign, said that, “Meaningful social connections are essential for human happiness. At the Campaign, we want to make loneliness everyone’s business and show that we can all play a role in combating loneliness in their community, whether as an organisation or an individual.”
If you aren’t in the same city or state as your relatives, here are a few ideas to help them not feel so lonely.
1. Go and Facetime your relatives! Yes, first you will have to teach them how exactly to do so but it will be worth it. If they aren’t understanding, find their local Apple store and schedule an appointment for them to come in and learn.
2. Send them care packages! If you can’t send yourself there, send them things that remind them of you. A cute picture frame with your favorite selfie, or food that reminds them of you will all help!
3. Lastly find activities for them to do near them. If they aren’t so savvy on the internet, a quick Google search will help you find some fun activities for them. This way they won’t be solely be relying on the TV for companionship.