Study: Spending time with family helps you live longer - WNEM TV 5

Study: Spending time with family helps you live longer

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A new study found spending time with your loved ones could help them live a longer life.

Edward Babinski loves being a part of the Wii bowling league at the Saginaw County Commission on Aging with some of his closest friends.

"It takes the loneliness away," he said.

Babinski met his girlfriend Mary Fergus at the commission on aging.

"Oh, it means a lot. My family lives out of state and if I didn't have this group or him, I don't know what I would do," Fergus said.

Fergus and Babinski have companionship, which experts said is a key factor in living a long life.

According to a recent study of 1,600 adults with an average age of 71, 23 percent of lonely participants died in the next six years. While 14 percent of people who had companionship passed away during the same time period.

"A lot of times we become more of a family than their out of state family, or some people have no family at all," said Nicole Wiesenauer, social worker.

She visits senior citizens who are home bound. Wiesenauer said it is important for their family members to reach out to them anyway they can.

"Skyping for example or FaceTime. There's lots of computer programs where if they have Wi-Fi they can talk to their loved ones," Wiesenauer said.

She said any interaction the senior citizens have is good for them. Even if it's a picture in the mail or a phone call.

As for Babinski, he said he's grateful he gets to spend his golden years with the people at the commission on aging.

"They're just a nice bunch of people to be around and it's a family," Babinski said.

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