All the joys you’ve experienced in life don’t have to come to a halt just because you’re moving into a senior living community. This is a common misconception in our industry that we hope to debunk. In fact, continuing to engage in the activities you love and socializing with others becomes even easier at a senior living community. The opportunities to socialize can make the transition smoother and benefit your health.
It’s true. When seniors are physically active and socially connected, life becomes more enjoyable, and worries fade away. Let’s explore the importance of socialization for seniors and how independent living communities create an environment that promotes a flourishing lifestyle.
Improvements to cognitive health
As you age, contact with close friends and family becomes increasingly important to your mental and emotional health. Think about how happy you are to spend time with company, whether you’re catching up on the phone, taking a walk together, or sharing a meal.
Feeling close to others helps combat stress and depression and even reduces the risk of dementia. Social isolation does the complete opposite, increasing the risks of emotional stress and even cognitive decline. Staying connected physically and emotionally helps you exercise your intellect and social skills and keeps your mind sharp.
Improvements to physical health
The benefits of socializing also carry over to your physical health. Studies have shown that participating in social activities can:
- Lower blood pressure
- Boost the immune system
- Reduce physical pain and the risk of falling
Not all social interaction has to be intensely physical, but even a daily walk, gardening, yoga class, or a few holes of golf with friends (walking, no carts) can improve your heart health, improve flexibility and balance, and strengthen muscles and bones.
It seems only natural that if social interaction improves cognitive and physical health, it can lead to a longer life span. When considering making the move to a senior living community, make sure the community offers everything you’re looking for in a social and supportive lifestyle. A wide range of social activities to choose from can be as important as the amenities offered. When both work in tandem, there will be no stopping your goals of ideal retirement living.
Better sleep and eating habits
Did you know that when dining with others, seniors tend to eat a more balanced diet? Socialization during a meal can also evoke fond feelings of nostalgia, from dining with family and friends during holidays and special events. The comfort that comes with eating and an improved diet relates directly to better sleep. Seniors are more susceptible to malnutrition and less sleep as they age, so socialization is essential for these two important aspects of daily living.
Feelings of support and belonging
The literal definition of “socialization” is the activity of mixing socially with others. When you find common interests amongst peers and develop close relationships from those shared interests, trust and support are the welcomed results.
Feeling close to others and engaging in joyful activities together can help you form a support system during a time in life when you need it most. You may be living far from family or have experienced loss. When this is the case, socialization creates a chosen family for you and a comforting sense of belonging.
How can seniors stay social?
Regardless of where you’re retiring, the opportunities to live a socially connected life are endless. Check out some of our favorite social activities for seniors below, and get started on your journey to healthier and more supportive living.
- Giving back to others and discovering a renewed sense of purpose in life can be the feel-good boost you need.
- Join a book club or a continuing education class. Your school years may be behind you, but that doesn’t mean you should stop learning, using your imagination, or exploring academic areas of interest.
- Sightsee or travel. If you’re able to explore the world during retirement, don’t miss your chance! If you’re staying local, discover a historic landmark or cultural attraction. Visiting different places can lead to meeting new people.
- Participate in meditative activities. Nature walks, yoga, gardening, cooking, praying – all of these can calm the mind and help you socialize at the same time.
- Work your brain. Do you enjoy crossword puzzles or love the strategy of a card or board game? Show off your competitive skills with others who love to play.
- Have fun with your pet. Pets make the perfect companions later in life. Allow your pets to socialize with other pets and entirely new friendships can be made between animals and owners.
Seniors at The Contemporary in Miami, FL, experience a surplus of social activities. With spacious floor plans that allow residents to host friends and family and a setting in South Florida that shines a light on wellness-focused programs, each day turns retirement dreams into reality.
Want to learn more about the social opportunities at The Contemporary? Contact us today.