Study Shows The More Time You Spend With Your Mom, The Longer She’ll Live


Has it been a while since you’ve seen your mom? A 2012 study reports that you should invite her over for dinner soon. Spending time with her can actually increase her life expectancy!

The study concluded that loneliness is a significant factor in the decline of quality of life in older adults, including the risk of depression, cognitive impairment and health problems like coronary artery disease — and it may even lead to an earlier death.

Specifically, the study looked at 1,600 adults with an average age of 71. Researchers found that 23 percent of participants who reported being lonely died within six years of the study, while only 14 percent of those who reported having companionship died during the same six-year period.

The results, which were published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, remained consistent even after controlling for health and socioeconomic status.

MORE: These 7 Habits Could Help You Live Longer


The Connection Between Social Ties And Health

Another study published in the journal PLoS Medicine in 2010 found that social ties can be as important to extending life as losing weight if you are obese and getting active if you are sedentary.

“Our social relationships are important not only to our quality of life, but also our longevity,” study author Julianne Holt-Lunstad, associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, told WebMD. “Throughout human history, we have relied on others for survival such as protection and food, and despite modern advancements that may [help with] certain aspects of survival so that we can live more independently, it appears that our relationships nonetheless still impact odds of survival.”

Research has shown that loneliness and social isolation are downright terrible for our health. In fact, loneliness has been called a bigger health risk than smoking or obesity.

Spending time with loved ones or friends often leads to laughter. Laughing is a powerful antidote to declining health, having been shown to boost immunity, lower blood pressure and stimulate both blood flow and mental activity.

So plan a visit with your mom, and by all means, bring a few good jokes along with you!

MORE: Lowe’s is giving away free flowers for Mother’s Day


Spending time with your parents benefits you, too. The wisdom passed down through generations can be invaluable, and no one quite understands you like mom and dad.

As we know, grandparents can be a major help when it comes to childcare, and research shows that grandparents who babysit are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia. Hanging out with grandma and grandpa is fun for kids too. Win-win!

Bottom line — spending more time with elderly family members benefits everyone.

MORE: Playgrounds For Senior Citizens Are Becoming Popular In The U.S.

Family & Parenting, Health, Seniors, Wellness & Fitness
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About the Author
Kate Streit
Kate Streit lives in Chicago. She enjoys stand-up comedy, mystery novels, memoirs, summer and pumpkin spice anything. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kate's work.

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