What is Included in Assisted Living? Friendship is One of the Best Assisted Living Services Available
Friendships and close personal relationships are essential for all ages. One of the most valuable benefits of living in an assisted living community is the friendships seniors develop.
Staff members provide the best personal care services offered in senior living communities; that service is friendship! There are no assisted living costs associated which make it priceless.
The need for meaningful social and personal relationships only increases as we age. Friendships and an active social life have been proven to increase life expectancy, improve physical health, maintain mental health and help seniors with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Senior living is a great environment to foster friendships through activities, programming, and shared spaces.
Strong, healthy relationships affect the physical, mental, and emotional health of an aging loved one. Seniors, like most people, need social engagement to stay happy and healthy - staying connected to friends and having a social life is essential.
The benefits of fostering and maintaining strong social connections are numerous for seniors, especially given that isolation, loneliness, and physical limitations are familiar among aging people, all of which can negatively affect their long-term health. Staying alone in their private room or home can increase depression and anxiety.
Don't forget to ask!
When finding assisted living that fits your loved one’s needs, you don’t forget to ask about the social scene and how they connect residents. A good assisted living facility will have a variety of programs and activities that encourage social interaction among residents. Consider even asking some of the assisted residents for feedback on the social experiences offered. They can be a wealth of information.
Here are some of the benefits of staying socially active and connected with friends for seniors in their daily living:
Why Having Friends and Staying Social Matters, particularly in assisted living facilities.
Longer Life Expectancy
Close, meaningful relationships and social life increase longevity (Harvard Health). Other benefits of friendships for seniors include mental stimulation, reduced depression and anxiety, renewed independence and confidence, social interaction, and stronger family relationships.
Increased Physical Activity
Older adults that engage with others tend to be more physically active and exercise regularly. Walks with friends or exercise programming at senior centers or living communities can help seniors engage with people while exercising.
Increased and Better-Maintained Cognitive Health
Social interaction keeps the brain sharp. Many social activities are intellectually stimulating, such as playing games and cards, seeing films, art-making, and more. This can be particularly helpful for seniors with dementia, but all seniors can benefit from keeping their minds sharp (Better Health Channel).
Seniors who interact with others regularly tend to function at a higher level. They score higher on tests that measure memory and problem-solving skills when mental stimulation is available.
Reduced Risk of Depression and Anxiety
Regular social interactions and friendships reduce isolation and loneliness, leading to depression in seniors. This has also been shown to reduce anxiety in aging people, according to one national center (CDC).
Renewed Independence and Confidence
Seniors who regularly leave their living space to join group activities and see friends and family are more independent. That continued independence through the senior years maintains confidence and connections that improve overall health.
How to Stay Social and Connected to Friends
Now that we know the positive results of social and recreational activities for seniors let’s talk about how many seniors maintain strong relationships. However, to improve the social life of aging adults, they may need some guidance and support.
Learn About Community Resources through your assisted living facility
Such as senior centers and religious & local organizations. Find classes and activities of interest to get involved with.
Keep Family Member Connections Strong
Maintain strong relationships with siblings, grandchildren, and other family members. Commit to a regular schedule to see those family members and coordinate family gatherings regularly.
There are a lot of volunteer opportunities for seniors, from pet shelters to donation drives and office work. Reach out to local charities that are important to you and discover opportunities to give back and get involved. Many assisted living communities have programs already in place for local town involvement.
Take Advantage of Community Living and the many assisted living services offered.
They offer activities, programming, and amenities that bring the residents together. Whether independent living or assisted living, senior living communities have a lot to offer under one roof.
Most assisted living communities have regularly scheduled events and outings that make getting out with other people easier. They also have amenities that foster social engagement, such as game rooms, dining rooms, craft areas, movie theaters, and more.
Follow Your Interests
If the senior in your life is interested in regular church attendance, events at a local museum, or a craft or hobby, continue pursuing it. These activities usually connect groups, offering a sense of purpose and connection to others. Most assisted living facilities provide residents transportation services to attend and participate in these events.
These activities bring a sense of purpose and belonging, which are integral to a high quality of life. Assisted living offers many benefits and opportunities for socializing, so take advantage of all available.
Now you understand what the most valuable thing assisted living includes
Now you know why interpersonal connections are essential for seniors and made available to them: social interaction maintains seniors’ mental capacities and improves mental health and health. Nothing is better than a friendly face to brighten the day in an assisted living community.
With these tips, through community involvement, keep the seniors happy, healthy, and connected with their loved ones and other assisted living residents.
Why assisted living?
Assisted living communities offer a lot of positive things for seniors. First, the residents have someone looking out for their well-being and safety. Social activities and exercise programs are tailored for seniors of all physical abilities. These features help slow cognitive decline and improve overall physical and mental health.
Does isolation have an effect on a senior's mental health?
Basically, isolation causes loneliness which feeds diseases. Loneliness can increase inflammation and buildup of disease in the arteries. This can fuel cancer cells and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
What causes senior isolation?
There are may things that can cause a feeling of isolation in seniors. Some triggers may be, loss of a spouse or partner, loss of driver’s license, not understanding how to use today's technology,watching the world from afar, moving in with family, loss of independence, loss of mobility.