The Power of Socializing in Senior Living Communities
As we’re growing up or raising our children, there’s a strong emphasis placed on building social skills. Considering that childhood encompasses our most formative years, we can easily understand the significance of doing so. But did you know that encouraging seniors to interact can be equally important in this later life stage – a time when we’re actually, increasingly vulnerable to the threats posed by solitary living?
The many benefits of socializing for seniors could surprise you! Whether residing in a senior living community or alone, for your aging loved one or yourself, read on for the fascinating facts behind the matter.
The Scientific Secret to Staying Well
Experts including researchers, scientists, and doctors find there are biological reasons why humans require connection and now agree that social engagement contributes hugely to our overall wellness. Dr. Louis Cozolino, who practices psychotherapy and consulting psychology and is also a professor at Pepperdine University, is just one of them. In his book Timeless: Nature’s Formula for Health and Longevity, he asserts that “Of all the experiences we need to survive and thrive, it is the experience of relating to others that is the most meaningful and important.”
The Importance of Socialization in Senior Living Communities
Simply being human means, we should want gratifying bonds with other humans, and fortunately, living in senior care facilities gives constant access to neighbors and potential friends. By taking the initiative in pursuing and fostering relationships, they can expect to enjoy all this and more:
A Rekindled Feeling That They Belong and Are Valued
Senior living residents who build positive senior relationships benefit from more fulfillment, a greater sense of purposefulness, and the reward of being valued contributors to their community. By sharing their stories and achievements, and applying their talents, ideas, and experiences, they will regain a feeling of respect and dignity. These combined advantages can enrich their quality of life deeply and even increase their longevity.
A Substantial Boost to Their Self-Esteem
Active socializing can increase seniors’ confidence, at an age when it could be declining. In relationship-centered communities, residents should make the most of frequent conversations, activities, and events and participate in community endeavors with like-minded folks. They can also give back as volunteers for charity or by serving on resident council boards. And of course, merely joining a group of people who share their interests will always bring a smile and add a spring to their step.
- Improved Health – Body, Mind and Spirit
- Experts have long been discovering that dwindling socialization as we age can bring unexpected risks. For instance, research supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) demonstrates that social isolation and loneliness are linked to a wide range of physical and mental conditions, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- A weakened immune system
- Cognitive decline
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Early death
Alternatively, the NIA says, “People who engage in meaningful, productive activities with others tend to live longer, boost their mood, and have a sense of purpose. These activities seem to help maintain their well-being and may improve their cognitive function, studies show.” Essentially, regular interaction and engagement with others can help promote a healthier, happier, longer life.
Here’s Where to Find Socialization Opportunities
The best independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities in Texas and Oklahoma provide residents with a wealth of possibilities for interacting with contacts – friends, neighbors, staff members, and their own and other residents’ visitors. These occasions are organized for them through a calendar of programs and activities designed to strengthen seniors’ social wellness, in addition to their physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
Note that without the built-in social network of a senior living community, individuals need to seek out these opportunities to form and cultivate friendships they’d otherwise have right on the spot.
Some suggestions include joining:
- A club or group with a shared interest – art, gardening, cooking, walking, dancing, yoga, books, movies, knitting, cards, games, and more.
- Volunteer opportunities where seniors can do things like teach a skill, play music for a sing-along, read to children, or sit and chat.
- An active seniors’ group at a senior center or house of worship.
- Free or low-cost programs for seniors, such as classes that can be audited at local colleges and universities.
- A fitness center or gym offering programs specifically designed for older adults.
- Someone they know for a regular “date” to enjoy coffee, a meal, and other activities and outings.
Count on a First-Class Senior Living Expert
Discover highly social, relationship-centered senior living options in your area, where you or your loved one could benefit from a supportive “village” environment. Cardinal Bay provides independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities in Texas and Oklahoma. Here, our residents experience frequent interactions and a wealth of stimulating activities, ultimately leading to healthier, richer, and more fulfilling lives.
Choose one of our local communities and schedule a complimentary visit to see for yourself how our residents thrive. Or learn more with our free, valuable resource, “Your Elementary Guide to Senior Living and Care Options in Texas and Oklahoma.” Get your copy now.