Mother’s and Father’s day are still a few months away, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit or call them more regularly.  According to a new study, it is good for their health.

A study titled “Loneliness in Older Persons – A Predictor of Functional Decline and Death” was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.  The premise of the article concludes that “loneliness is a common source of distress, suffering, and impaired quality of life in older persons. We examined the relationship between loneliness, functional decline, and death in adults older than 60 years in the United States.”

The study looked at 1,604 adults with an average age of 71.

They were asked if they feel left out, feel isolated or lack companionship. Subjects were only categorized as not lonely if they responded hardly ever to all three questions. They were categorized as lonely if they responded some of the time or often to any of the 3 questions.

Researchers found 23 percent of participants who reported being lonely died within six years of the study. But only 14 percent of those with companionship died during the same six-year period.

As the article points out, spending time with the people you love often leads to laughter. Which is just good medicine. So go ahead and give your parents a call, not only is it good for their health, it will make them smile.