The Importance of Socializing in Assisted Living Facilities
Many of us are familiar with the fact that forming social skills is an integral part of child development. It’s pretty easy to understand why parents would arrange “playdates,” as they help teach kids how to interact with the world around them. But fewer people recognize that actively maintaining relationships can be just as crucial as we age, especially since the rate of American seniors residing alone continues to rise – along with the risks of doing so.
It Takes a Village to Survive and Thrive as Seniors
Numerous scientists, doctors, and researchers agree that frequent social engagement plays a vital role in our total well-being and extended lifespan. Among them: is Susan Pinker, a developmental psychologist who writes and speaks on her social neuroscience studies. Her book The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter demonstrates the necessity of genuine, in-person relationships, and she notes that every contact in our real-world circle provides another link in a complete “village” of family, friends, and community.
The Benefits of Socialization in Senior Living Communities
While experts say that human beings are hardwired to connect and that we should naturally crave fulfilling relationships, it’s not always easy to make that happen. As older adults, life circumstances could push us into loneliness and isolation. Those living in senior care facilities forge relationships more easily, thanks to their instant social network and continuous access to other people. Taking proactive steps in the right direction can:
Help Improve Seniors’ Overall Health
Research supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) shows a link between isolation and loneliness and a huge variety of physical and mental conditions. The dangers include high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease – and even early death. On the flip side, the experts say, regularly engaging in meaningful, productive activities with other people is the biggest secret to enjoying a long, healthy life.
Restore Their Sense of Purpose and Belonging
Along with companionship comes the chance to recapture the feeling of being valued, the way they were in the years dedicated to being an employee, a parent to a young child, a sports team member, or a contributor to another group endeavor. Assisted living residents who practice positive senior relationships accomplish a revitalized zest for life and the satisfaction of being valued for their contributions. They share their abilities and talents, stories and achievements, ideas and experience, and in turn, experience renewed dignity and respect.
Strengthen Self-Confidence in Aging Adults
The affirmations exchanged when socializing increase self-esteem, during a stage when it might otherwise decrease. Residents of relationship-centered senior living can join in activities and events that enable them to feel helpful and needed, which makes a massive difference. Think about how proud your loved one would be to teach their peers some computer tips, to knit a new pattern, or to bake a favorite family recipe. Or, the rush they’d receive from serving on the resident council board or volunteering for charity. Boosts like these produce the release of “good” hormones that aid in fighting off illness, sharpening the mind, and generally enhancing the quality of life.
Good Places for Seniors to Socialize Near You
Looking for ways for elderly people to meet others and spend quality time together? The best Central Texas assisted living and memory care communities give its senior residents lots of socialization opportunities. On a daily basis, they interact with many contacts, face to face, including their friends and neighbors, caring staff members, and both their own and other residents’ visitors. Thanks to programs that strengthen seniors’ social, physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual wellness, they can gather effortlessly to enjoy a calendar of activities and events planned out for them.
In other cases, where seniors do not have the advantages of a built-in community on their doorstep, they must search for and create such opportunities.
- Joining a club or group with a shared interest, like a choir or band, arts and crafts, cooking, gardening, books, movies, knitting, cards, games, billiards, etc.
- Exercising at a fitness center or gym that provides programs safe for seniors – walking, dancing, yoga, aerobics, Pilates, tai chi, and more.
- Volunteering to teach a skill, read to others, play music, help with fundraising events, or simply have a conversation.
- Finding free or low-cost programs for seniors; for example, college and university classes they can audit.
- Organizing regular “dates” with friends for a meal, coffee/drink, or other activity, trip, or outing.
- Becoming part of a locally active seniors’ group at a senior center or house of worship.
Trust a Central Texas Senior Living Leader
Come explore how a fun, sociable senior living option in your area could be the ideal choice and provide the many benefits of a “village” atmosphere. An expert in assisted living and memory care, Stoney Brook designed its senior living communities to help residents flourish. By interacting often and enjoying ample, stimulating activities, you or your loved one can age well – and savor each day to its absolute fullest.
An expert in assisted living and memory care, Stoney Brook designed its senior living communities to help residents flourish. Through a fun, sociable environment and ample, stimulating activities including those listed above, you or your loved one can age well – and savor each day to its absolute fullest. To learn more, schedule a complimentary visit, or subscribe to our blog now.