This study wants you to hang out with your mom more — so she’ll live longer
This is probably something moms have been telling their kids forever, but it’s finally been proven to be true. A new study found that hanging out with your mom will help her live longer. And now moms all over the world are cheering with delight, probably. But do you blame them? Their kids are pretty great (that’s us, you guys!).
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that loneliness can play a huge part in the decline associated with old age.
The study followed 1,604 adults in the United States, with an average age of 71. Every two years from 2002-2008, the subjects were asked if they felt left out, isolated, or lacked companionship. The results found that people who were lonely showed higher mortality rates. Almost 23% of participants who considered themselves to be lonely died within six years of the study, as opposed to only 14% of those that felt they had companionship.
People who were lonely also showed functional decline on their daily living activities, an increased number of upper extremity tasks, decline in mobility, and increased difficulty in stair climbing. That’s likely because if they’re alone, they don’t have any reason to move around.
In older people, health decline isn’t just influenced by normal biomedical factors, but also by psychosocial distress… AKA loneliness.
“The need we’ve had our entire lives — people who know us, value us, who bring us joy — that never goes away,” Barbara Moscowitz, senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, told The New York Times.
You may notice that your parents or grandparents might overlook a lot of their family and friends’ imperfections — at least more than you might be able or willing to do. And that’s because they’ve had plenty of time to realize the importance of those relationships.
"They're pretty tolerant of friends' imperfections and idiosyncrasies, more than young adults," Rosemary Blieszner, a professor of human development at Virginia Tech, told The New York Times. "You bring a lot more experience to your friendships when you're older. You know what's worth fighting about and not worth fighting about."
The truth is, spending time with your mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa isn’t just good for them, it’s good for you, too. We don’t need to tell you that they won’t be around forever — you know how time works. Making the most out of your time together is beneficial for their longterm health, as well as your relationship altogether.
So go call your mom already!