Mothers and fathers — they gave birth to us, raised us, took care of us, and have been with us through every difficulty we have faced as we were growing up.
Sadly, when we enter adult life, not all of us get to spend as much time with our parents as we did before. Work, family, and other responsibilities sometimes get in the way of us paying our parents a visit.
But research suggests that you actually have to put additional effort into seeing your parents much often — because doing so won’t only make them happier, but healthier as well.
In a study posted in National Center for Biotechnology Information’s journal page entitled “Loneliness in Older Persons: A Predictor of Functional Decline and Death”, it was discovered that loneliness is one of the main sources of suffering in older people.
Furthermore, the study stated that: “We demonstrated that it [loneliness] is also a risk factor for poor health outcomes including death and multiple measures of functional decline.”
This study have participants from both genders, but 79% of them were women.
A separate study conducted by Nicole Valtorta and Barbara Hanratty revealed that “The influence of loneliness and isolation on mortality is significant.”
Evidently, being alone and lonely can have a remarkable impact on health — especially for older people.
While there are other research that say there’s no direct connection between loneliness and health risks, according to Professor Andrew Steptoe of University College London, there are other reasons why an older person having constant communication and interaction with others has a higher chance of living a longer life.
The professor said, “Receiving encouragement to do things or not to do things, other people to help you with your medications or take you to the doctor, and things of that sort — which are not so much to do with the emotional side of it as more the practical side — it could be that those are the more important factors here.”
Professor Steptoe’s statement makes perfect sense. Naturally, any person who has someone who would literally be there for them will have a higher survival rate than a person who lives alone with no one to turn to in time of need.
And if research isn’t enough, come to think of it, visiting or getting in touch with parents can be beneficial to children, too (regardless of the child’s age):
1. When adult life gets too hard and you need someone wiser to help you out, there’s no better person to talk to other than your parents; they know you best and you can share personal problems with them.
2. Most parents don’t stop being parents, no matter how grown up their kids are. They just don’t stop caring about you. Frequently, when you visit your parents’ house, it’s quite common to see your mom still preparing food for you. In our busy adult life, it’s nice to have someone like mom (or dad) to remind us that we deserve to be taken care of, too.
3. Additionally, in the interviews conducted for the book ‘When Will My Grown-Up Kid Grow Up?’ written by Dr. Jeffrey Arnett, it was revealed that 75% of parents said that their present relationship with their adult children was better today than the relationship they had when their children were 15. So, if you were enjoying the company of your parents when you were a teenager, you would definitely enjoy it more now that you’re a grown up.
In all honesty, you don’t really need scientific research to urge you to visit your mother or your parents more often. Just the fact that they are your parents should be enough. And although they don’t say it, it’s very likely that they miss you. No matter what, nobody would ever love you the way your parents do.
If you haven’t seen them in a while, go visit them — and don’t forget that while you are getting older, they are, too.