Stoney Brook Relationship-Centered Living Series
PART ONE: Defining Relationship-Centered Living and Its Significance for Seniors
As you search for senior living options in Central Texas, it’s critical to understand the impact of relationships on health, happiness and longevity. Extensive studies prove that senior living residents who foster positive relationships experience more fulfillment, a sense of belonging and the feeling that they are valued contributors to community life.
You’re invited to join us over the coming weeks for more of this Relationship-Centered Living Series. In it, we’ll elaborate on the wonderful truths behind relationship-centered living – and why it matters so very much for seniors. Now, we’ll begin by exploring the core benefits of this lifestyle and outlining the “Pillars of Well-Being” required for flourishing people and communities.
The Definition of Relationship-Centered Living
Simply put, relationship-centered living means living life with relationships at the center of everything. It’s a practical, research-based and science-backed philosophy that yields well-being, no matter what a person’s age. Relationship-centered living focuses on caring relationships and intentional connection with the people with whom we interact regularly.
The Key Components of Relationship-Centered Living
How can you distinguish whether or not a community’s philosophy focuses on relationships? Older adults who reside in assisted living, memory care, independent living and life plan communities, as well as other community settings, can expect a relationship-centered approach to demonstrate the following traits:
- An emphasis on the value and unique contributions of residents.
You’ll see that the community celebrates residents for who they are and encourages them to share their stories. Residents are treated with the utmost respect and dignity. Through relationships, they use their interests, talents, ideas and experience to better the community. They play an active role and offer their feedback and opinions, serving on resident council boards, participating in annual surveys, providing insight for life enrichment, etc.
- Active partnerships between residents, family members, staff and the overall community.
High-quality relationships are maintained between the staff – or team members – of a community, and they directly influence the quality of life experienced by residents. Team members who foster strong relationships with residents’ family members will build trust and uphold the top standards of excellence in service and care. Plus, the senior living community teams that work hard to cultivate relationships with community practitioners use this collaboration to advocate for residents in a number of impactful ways.
- A sense of family.
In this type of environment, team members genuinely bond with residents, and they strive to know them well. You’ll notice a resemblance to the family experience – and a reflection of the qualities inherent in a positive relationship, such as love, patience, cooperation, belonging and fun. Like any family, the realization that we need each other – and that we have each other – imparts remarkable strength. So, on good days, moments of joy and celebration gain even more gladness, because they are shared. And on difficult days, residents appreciate knowing they have that tight circle to support them with compassion, empathy and expertise.
- A friendship network.
In her article for Psychology Today, Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D. writes, “To thrive in an increasingly isolating world, it’s helpful to have connections with others that reflect varying degrees of closeness.” She outlines seven basic types of friendships that bring value to our lives, as well as why social connections are incredibly essential to our happiness. Significantly, she notes, “It’s important to cultivate a multi-faceted network of friendships.”
For older adults, the idea of making and maintaining friendships can seem intimidating – but it becomes extraordinarily easy when residing in a relationship-centered, senior living community. Next-door neighbors… Dining room tablemates… Exercise class acquaintances… Lots more fellow residents… Team members, volunteers and guests… With so many people around, seniors enjoy plenty of potential to form friendships ranging from casual to close.
Here's What Relationship-Centered Living Is NOT
Because of what it’s called, you might be inclined to think that every moment of one’s day needs to revolve around socializing – but that’s not the case. When residing in this type of community, DO NOT assume you must be the most outgoing person in the room, or that you can’t keep to yourself sometimes, or that every moment must be spent around people in order to enjoy yourself. Rather, relationship-centered living provides seniors with meaningful opportunities for healthy connection and optimal well-being, and you can decide how to maximize them.
How We Embody the Link Between Relationship-Centered Living and Overall Well-Being
Finally, let’s discuss the influence that relationships have on individual and community well-being. According to research, those with high levels of well-being tend to enjoy happier, healthier and more productive lives. To guide us in nurturing people and communities that truly thrive, we have determined the multidimensional components necessary to accomplish that mission.
Stoney Brook implements the following “5 Pillars of Well-Being” as its benchmarks for superior relationship-centered living:
We are dedicated to weaving these pillars into all aspects of life, across every Stoney Brook senior community.
Watch our blog for our continuing Relationship-Centered Living Series, during which you’ll explore each pillar in greater detail – and discover plenty more about the importance of relationships for older adults.
Trust a Central Texas Senior Living Leader
Now’s the time to find out how a senior living option in your area could be your ideal choice and provide the many benefits of a “village” environment. 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, 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.