New research published in Stroke: The Journal of the American Heart Association has found that seniors who live a social and active lifestyle in a community setting are more likely to survive a stroke.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota and Chicago's Rush University studied 5,789 seniors and asked them to fill out a series of questionnaires asking them about their neighbors and how often they interacted with those in the area.
The chance of survival rose by 53 percent for each point scored by answering positive to a question such as "Do you see neighbors and friends talking outside in the yard or on the street?"
"Social isolation is unhealthy on many levels, and there is a lot of literature showing that increased social support improves not just stroke, but many other health outcomes in seniors," said Cari Jo Clark, Sc.D., lead author of the study.
"What is unique about our research is that we have taken this to the neighborhood level instead of just looking at the individual."
The benefit is likely to extend to residents of retirement living communities as well, because there is an increased chance for interaction in these areas as well.