Science says the more we speak to our mums, the longer they live


When was the last time you spoke to your mum, or your granny? Like, really spoke to her? Sat down and made her a cuppa and asked her about her hopes and dreams and how to get red wine stains out of a white top? Well, you should do that more often, or else she’s gonna die, basically.

A new study from University of California, San Francisco found that, unsurprisingly, loneliness plays a huge role in the decline that comes with old age. Researchers conducted a study of 1,600 adults with an average age of 71 and found that more than health or socioeconomic status, it was loneliness which was closest relation to lower mortality rates. Nearly 23 per cent of lonely participants died within six years of their study, compared to only 14 per cent of older people who had someone to speak to.

OK, so your mum might not be 71 yet, but there’s never a better time to start. Maybe speak to your granny first, practice on that generation. Speaking to the New York Times on the importance of companionship Barbara Moscowitz, a senior geriatric social worker, said: “The need we’ve had our entire lives — people who know us, value us, who bring us joy — that never goes away.

And they’re probably more chill and easier to get on with than most of our other friends. Rosemary Blieszner, a professor of human development at Virginia Tech, added: “They’re pretty tolerant of friends’ imperfections and idiosyncrasies, more than young adults. You bring a lot more experience to your friendships when you’re older.

“You know what’s worth fighting about and not worth fighting about.”

So call your mum.