It’s enjoyable to have dinner parties, sporting events, and movie nights scattered throughout your week. Socializing with coworkers, spending time with family, and catching up with friends are fantastic ways to fill our social needs. However, many are also aware of how lonely it can feel if most days are spent alone.
Aging adults often struggle with loneliness after retirement, and one of the best ways to combat this loneliness is to support your loved one in an assisted living community. Let’s take a look at why socialization is essential for aging adults and how assisted living can significantly benefit your loved one.
Why is Social Interaction Important for Aging Adults?
You can imagine that life can get lonely once the routine of going to work and taking care of a family halts after retirement. If aging adults live alone, the feelings of isolation are even greater. Many factors play into feelings of loneliness and isolation in aging adults, such as:
- Living alone
- Low income
- Disability or impairment
- Inability to drive
- No family nearby
- Death of spouse, family members, or friends
Consistent solitude can cause health risks for aging adults such as depression, poor eating habits, and lack of physical activity. Because of this, it is paramount for aging adults to have active social lives.
Studies have shown that having an active social life helps you live longer, and it may also delay memory loss in aging adults. Not to mention, regular social interaction decreases depression and leads to a more physically active life, which can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, arthritis, and cardiovascular issues. Pretty impressive, right?
On days where friends and family members simply aren’t available to socialize, a pet companion offers the benefits of socialization. Pets can significantly help aging loved ones stay active, combat loneliness, and develop a routine.
How Assisted Living Helps
Assisted living communities help your loved one maintain their independence while offering personalized health care and ample socialization opportunities. Assisted living helps foster a sense of community in your loved one’s life because of the following reasons:
Planned Activities Enhance Friendships
One of the most incredible benefits of joining an assisted living community is that each day is full of planned activities. Staff members facilitate creative activities that boost memory, encourage socialization, and offer physical movement.
Your loved one can participate in planned activities multiple times per day. Activities often include, but are not limited to:
- Music performances or classes
- Craft clubs
- Board games and bingo
- Exercise sessions
- Working in the garden
- Cooking seminars
- Book clubs
- Field trips
- Happy hour
- Holiday celebrations
- Religious worship services
- Ice cream socials
Participating in planned activities will help your loved one settle into assisted living, form friendships, and stay active. Your loved one will be able to regularly socialize with other community residents, guests, and staff members.
Free Time Fosters Independence
Independence is just as important as socialization. Assisted living communities are a fantastic solution for loved ones who need health and socialization support but still want to maintain a healthy level of independence.
The benefits of an active social life are spectacular, but everyone needs their alone time, too. Your loved one can participate in however many activities they wish each day, but they can also spend their free time doing anything they would like to. Whether your loved one is fond of decompressing by reading books, cooking, or playing with their pet, they are encouraged to live life on purpose.
Support From Individualized Health Care
Have you ever gone to a doctor’s appointment and felt like they didn’t get to know you or what you needed? An experience like that can be frustrating and discouraging. On the contrary, do you have a health care provider who connects with you and empathizes with your worries? An attentive medical provider truly makes all the difference.
In assisted living environments, each person receives personalized health care support from providers who genuinely get to know them. Your loved one’s on-site health care providers not only provide medication support but also create lasting bonds that help with socialization.
All the health care features of an assisted living community are designed to maximize each person’s quality of life. Your loved one will be able to participate in individualized on-site health programs, such as:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Exercise activities
Not to mention, transportation support is provided for people to visit other medical providers off-campus, so your loved one can maintain the relationships they built over the years with their primary care providers.
Staying Connected With the Larger Community
Assisted living environments don’t just foster a sense of community within their walls. Instead, staff members regularly plan and encourage residents to attend field trips in the community at large.
These excursions often include trips to places like:
- Shopping malls
- Concert halls
- Local restaurants
- Art fairs
- Local parks
Your loved one will be encouraged to remain active in their larger community through volunteer efforts, school visits, and cultural events. Because of these efforts, your loved one will not feel isolated from their broader neighborhood either.
Community Boosts Health, Confidence, and Happiness
It’s clear that an active social life is vital for people of all ages, especially aging adults. While isolation and loneliness can create depression and health issues, regular socialization boosts confidence, encourages physical activity, and sharpens memory. After retirement, assisted living communities are a fantastic way for your loved one to get the socialization and support they need.
If you’re interested in learning more about how assisted living can increase your loved one’s quality of life, reach out to New Perspective today. We can answer any questions you may have and help you schedule a tour of one of our vibrant communities.