As we get older, it’s normal for social circles to shrink. Children might move away, retirement can distance us from former co-workers, and aging may take spouses or partners to hospitals and nursing homes.
It turns out, this loneliness might have a bigger impact on your health than you think. The National Institute on Aging cites social isolation as a health risk External Site for the elderly, linking it to cognitive decline, depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
But, there’s hope! Studies show that people who engage in meaningful, productive activities with others can live longer. And, an easy way to do that is to live with someone. Whether you live with a spouse, partner, trusted companion, friend, or relative, the health benefits are undeniable.
- Better mood: It’s nice to have a friend. When you talk about your day or enjoy pastimes with someone else, your mood is instantly lifted. Just knowing there is someone there for you at the end of the day can make all the difference for your mental health.
- Reduce anxiety: Running a household is a lot of work. Even if you've gotten into a good routine, it’s easy to worry about how the chores will get done and how the bills will get paid — especially on a fixed income. But when you live with someone, it's easier to divide and conquer. One of you can tackle the dishes and the other can manage the grocery shopping. When you split the workload and the cost of living, you can relax and enjoy life a little more.
- Healthier lifestyle: When there’s someone living with you, you have more incentive to cook and enjoy a fresh meal together rather than heating up a frozen dinner. You’ve also got an instant workout partner to take walks, stretch, or lift weights with.
- Better social life: Combat a shrinking social circle by living with someone! This instantly doubles your network of family, friends, and community members. Staying social as you age is important to keeping your brain health in check.
- Accountability: We all need accountability from time to time. When you live with someone, they can help you schedule and attend doctor’s appointments and remind you to take your medications.
- Wellmark’s household discount: You heard us right! At Wellmark, we recognize the health benefits of living with someone. That’s why we offer a reduced rate for some of our Medicare supplement products when you live with someone. Some eligibility rules apply, so contact your local authorized Wellmark agent to learn more about the rules and apply if you’re eligible.
If living with someone sounds like a good fit for you, talk to a friend or relative to see what arrangements can be made. For more information on aging, visit the National Institute on Aging External Site.