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Great reasons to connect with friends

Photo of three middle aged women, multicultural, laughing together
Photo of three middle aged women, laughing together.

Socializing can provide many benefits to your physical and mental health.

Socializing can provide many benefits to your physical and mental health. According to recent research:

  • Connecting with friends may also boost your brain health and lower your risk of dementia.
  • People who regularly connect with others generally perform better on tests of memory and other cognitive skills.
  • In the long run, people with active social lives are less likely to develop dementia than those who are more socially isolated.
  • People with more social support also tend to live longer, and this is true even after accounting for overall health.
  • Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults. This means you are better able to fight off colds, the flu and even some types of cancer.
  • Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases feelings of depression.

Ways to boost your social engagement: 

  • Sign up for activities at your local recreation center, library or event center.
  • Join a choir or musical group.
  • Volunteer at your favorite charity organization.
  • Visit a museum with a friend and chat about what you see.
  • Participate in a neighborhood or community group.
  • Play a group sport like lawn bowling, golf or croquet.
  • Have a friend or family member over for coffee or tea.
  • Play cards or board games with others.
  • Exercise with a friend by walking, swimming or going to the gym together.
  • Take a class to meet new friends.

VA Pittsburgh's Recreation Services offers many opportunities for connecting with fellow Veterans and the community. Contact Marlena Regus at 412-360-3756 for scheduled events.