It’s great for their health Sure, everyone’s busy, but staying connecting to mom and dad could be life or death

By Daryl Nelson

As children grow into adults and young parents turn into senior parents, many times the family gets pulled apart and sometimes that distance has to do with location and other times it’s created by life becoming busier and children of aging parents having their own families to take care of.

But staying connected to your parents as they age, assuming your relationship isn’t strained or contentious, will not only add new chapters to your relationship, but it could stabilize and even improve their health as well.

Many experts have studied the correlation between loneliness and health among aging parents, especially when one parent lives alone and can’t get out much.

But it just isn’t solitude that can potentially contribute to a an older parent’s declining health, say researchers — it’s being removed socially, so living alone can be fine for some aging seniors, but if they’re not visiting with friends or family in between that alone time, it can truly affect their health.

“People with few social contacts may not have people around them who can give them advice, recommend that they go to a doctor with symptoms, ensure that they maintain healthy lifestyles, or perhaps they don’t have anyone around when they experience acute symptoms,” said Andrew Steptoe, who co-authored a study called Longitudinal Study of Aging.

“We all know people who might seem socially isolated but don’t experience loneliness because they are comfortable being on their own.”