According to a new study, spending quality time with your elderly loved ones may actually prolong and improve their life.
Researchers at University of California, San Francisco took a closer look at the effects of loneliness through their study of 1604 people, aged 60 or older. Their findings included a link between prolonged loneliness and "functional decline."
In short, extended periods of time spent alone (in terms of years) can have a significant impact on one's health. Close to 23% of "lonely" participants died within six years of the study. Meanwhile, only 14% of those with meaningful companionship passed away.
The findings seem to show that older folks gain the most life fulfillment from their friendships. According to the study, the elderly are more willing to overlook certain things in continuing a relationship. More or less, they've had a lifetime to cut people off for this, that, or the other, and simply want to connect.
So, next time grandma or grandpa call to talk, make time for a meaningful conversation. It has a more substantial impact than curing boredom - it could even help improve their quality of life.