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Seniors celebrate early New Year's Eve in Boston

December 31, 2012

Celebrating the arrival of the New Year is a part of senior living for many retirees, but some older adults may find it difficult to make it to midnight on New Year's Eve. In an effort to help seniors ring in 2013, Boston hosted its 22nd annual First Night Senior Celebration several days after Christmas, The Boston Globe reports.

The yearly event attracted around 2,600 seniors to the city's Seaport World Trade Center, and although it may have been several days early, the celebration will likely rival some of those set for December 31. Seniors in attendance were treated to a turkey dinner, live performances and dancing.

"It's hard to get them off the dance floor," Tula Mahl, deputy commissioner of communications for the Elderly Commission, who puts on the event, told the Globe. "This is the event our seniors look forward to the most, and it's a way for them to celebrate the New Year without being out at night. They don't ­really like to go out at night."

Seniors outside of Boston can take a few cues from those who attended the First Night Senior Celebration. Most notably, it highlights the important role that social interaction can play in healthy aging.

Some of the most compelling evidence on the benefits of social interaction comes from a 2008 study out of the Harvard School of Public Health. Researchers found that adults 50 and older who are less socially active experienced declines in memory twice as fast as those who were more involved in the community.

Of course, New Year's Eve parties are not the only option seniors have for social interaction. Everything from volunteering to continuing education can be part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors.