Researchers found that being physically present near your loved ones is a better way of preventing depression than connecting with them via social media, phone or e-mail. A recent research shows that face-to-face interaction is tied to lower levels of depression among seniors than modern communication methods.
Study authors said that participants who routinely visited their relatives and friends were also less likely to be depressed than those who chose to connect with their loved ones via the telephone or online services.
The research also showed that face-to-face interactions have benefits that last over the years since people can recall the nice moments spent together. The new study, which was published Monday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, involved 11,000 adults aged 50 or more.
Study participants were monitored for seven years, with study investigators sending surveys every a couple of years. Those surveys looked for changes in mental health, social interaction and a variety of health issues.
Researchers also found that senior who weren’t visited by their children or other family members, friends or relatives at least every month were more likely of being diagnosed with severe depression in a couple of years despite receiving phone calls from loved ones.
Seniors who were visited at least once or twice per month had an 8.1 percent risk of developing depression, while those that were visited once or twice per week had 7.3 percent chances of being diagnosed with the condition.
Moreover, those who were left alone for more than a month had a nearly 12 percent risk of being depressed later on. But the happiest were those that visited their friends and family for at least three times a week with only a 6.5 percent risk of being depressed.
In a recent public statement, Dr. Alan Teo, lead author of the study and researcher at the University of Michigan, summed up the reasons why visiting grandma is better than giving her a call:
“This study shows that meeting up and connecting with people face-to-face is good medicine for depression prevention.”
He also said that not all types of socialization have similar results. ‘Digital communication’ and phone calls do not have the same effect as plain face-to-face interaction when it comes to keeping depression at bay.
Image Source: Pixabay
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