Why it’s so important to keep social in your 60s and beyond 28



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As we get older and people drift from us, move away, go on holidays or sadly pass away, it can be difficult to maintain an active social life. However researchers have found these interactions with our friends are actually vital to living long lives.

According to new research published in February 2016 in the online journal BMJ Open, membership in social groups such as book clubs or church groups after retirement is linked to a longer life, with the impact on health and wellbeing similar to that of regular exercise.

In fact the more groups a person belongs to in the first few years after he or she stops working, the lower their risk of death.

As retirees will know, retirement is a major life change and can lead to depression and loss of purpose. One way of maintaining a feeling of busy-ness is to surround yourself with friends, says the study.

The researchers tracked the health of 424 people, aged over 50, for six years after they had retired and compared them with the same number of people, matched for age, sex, and health status, but who were still working.

Each participant was asked how many different organisations, clubs, or societies, s/he belonged to, and which ones, and asked to assess their quality of life and subjective physical health.

The results showed that those whose quality of life was good before retirement were more likely to score highly on quality of life assessment after retirement, but this was actually down to how many social groups they were in.

Compared with those still working, every group membership lost after retirement was associated with around a 10 per cent drop in quality of life score six years later.

Of the 28 retirees in the study who died in the first six years after finishing work, self-rated health was not a significant predictor of death, but the number of group memberships was.

If a person belonged to two groups before retirement, and kept these up over the following six years, their risk of death was 2%, rising to 5% if they gave up membership of one, and to 12% if they gave up membership of both.

Interestingly, there were no such patterns seen in those still working, showing it is truly vital to be in a group and feel part of something well into your 60s and beyond.

Luckily Starts at 60 offers that 24/7 for you 🙂

Tell us, how many groups do you belong to?

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  1. The trouble is,I’m at the stage where members of the group are beginning to disappear heavenward. Loving my connection through SAS:)

  2. Same as Helen McBride I check it out daily and comment when I have something to say and I do love SAS

  3. This is my last look at and post on SAS because of snarky remarks by people who may not agree with your point of view. No need to make the attacks personal people. Hasta La Vista

    6 REPLY
    • I am sorry to hear that Susanne. Please don’t let the bullies drive you away. If you feel that you are being targeted by a particular person or group you can block them. Then they don’t see your posts and you don’t see theirs. When I first joined I was targeted by a particularly nasty group of people. I blocked them and have not looked back. When I get a nasty reply to my comment I just ignore them. I personally have been shocked and appalled by some of the behaviour I have seen on this site but I am not going to let it drive me away. I wish you all the best for the future. I will just add that I have met some lovely people on this site.

    • Don’t let the turkeys get you down Susanne. It’s all a part of life and your point of view is just as valid as those who insult you. Just shows their lack of intelligence if they have to resort to insults.

    • It so a choice to be offended or to take things personally. I don’t find bullying on this site. We can express opinions, an opinion is not locked in, unless of course you are inflexible. And that is not the problem of SAS. It goes right to the heart of the one who picks up the ball and walks away with it. Fancy being thin skinned on public forums😂😂😂

    • Susanne Reudin, Just go with the flow. We are different people from different backgrounds, so a little “difference of opinion” is part and parcel of any FB site you active on. I enjoy SAS. and sometimes I can really let loose on my opinion!! Have a great day!

    • Debbie Bryant & Christa Caldecott, thank you both for your kind words. I don’t allow people to get me down, I learned long ago how pointless that is. I just don’t wish to engage with negativity. At some point, just like Arnie, “I’ll be back”.

    • Helen Botha I know what you mean. Sometimes I think how silly some comments are, but then I think “well, they could just as well think this about my comments.”

  4. This is so sad Susanne Ruedin everyone is entitled to their opinion, no need to be rude about it,hope you change your mind.

  5. What are you trying to say? I have to join more groups?

    Just had a quick look. I know 70+ of my 339 Fb friends. Some for the past 40 years. I set up a group on Fb and am an admin of another large group and follow the antics of another 30 plus groups. I have about 15 lists I follow every day.

    Yes 80% of the posts are crap, sometimes funny, 9% are good feed and 1% are gems which I can add to my small knowledge base and use for future reference.

    I’ve been using the internet for over 30 years as a tool and it amazing what one can learn by using the hundreds of search engines which are available.

    Oh yes, talking about knowledge. Over the past 15+ years I’ve downloaded over 5,000 fishing articles which I go back to regularly. And this is only about 15% of my data base. B|

  6. I go to craft group 2 mornings a week. I volunteer at our local Tourist Information Center. I fill the gaps when people can’t do their shift so I can work anything from one to three shifts a week. I am a member of U3A and belong to their drama group. We meet at my house the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month. I also go to their armchair travel group once a month. Next Tuesday I am going to the first Coffee Meet up with local SAS members. I am busy and loving it.

    1 REPLY
  7. I am in three Probus Clubs so keep very busy, and love the SAS site. Does not worry me at all if people disagree with my comments; after all if you put something “out there” then you should expect someone to have a differing viewpoint. Sometimes their opposing view gives one food for thought. Many people are very passionate about issues and sometimes get carried away and resort to insults, which is rather a shame as you can state your opposing views without doing this.
    Anyway, people can call me whatever they like….as long as I’m alive and kicking, this is the main thing.

    1 REPLY
    • Agree, stand up to the bullies, if not block them, there is nothing wrong with a good heated debate 💚✅

  8. Since retiring a year ago I must confess to being somewhat reclusive, I really needed some time to myself. This year I promise I will socialise more. 🙂🙂🙂

    1 REPLY
    • I have the occasional day when I think no craft today. I lock the door and watch DVDs and do my craft at home. Sometimes I just need some me space.

  9. Most I use this site. Since moving to Canberra I know no one! I keep fit by waking the Yerrabi pond in Canberra every day.

    5 REPLY
    • I understand what you mean. My daughter moved to Canberra 2 1/2 years ago from Brisbane and luckily she had her brother and his fiancee living there. She was lonely at first but she finally joined a ballroom dancing school and now has a lovely group of friends. It can be difficult moving to a new city. Have you tried the local U3A?

    • Debbie Bryant Oh I have no problems being alone. Love my own company.Confess that I am a fussy person in regards to who I choose for friends.My daughter is here with her partner and that is one of the reason I moved here.No grandchildren yet. With a bit of luck next year.What does U3A mens?

    • Sandra Hannah University of the Third Age. All over Australia, it is a social group for over 50s. My local group have that many activities it is amazing. If you google U3A the information is all there. I belong to their Drama group and Armchair Travel. Every group is different and have their own activities. I can recommend it.

    • Debbie, I’ve just started to look at U3A also. We are planning a move later in the year, thought it would be a good option when starting all over again.

  10. very important or you would age mentally must keep the brain active. Laughing with friends is the best medicine

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