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How Seniors’ Social Engagement Benefits Their Health

June 7, 2021


It is commonly recognized that aging may present seniors with mental and physical issues. But how a lack of social interactions may contribute to these challenges is less well known. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of unengaged or socially isolated seniors are at a higher risk of acquiring dementia or other significant medical disorders.

Many senior living institutions, including assisted living and memory care, place a strong emphasis on socialization and provide activities to suit a wide range of interests. Learn more below about senior social needs, the advantages of social interaction in seniors, how senior living homes address a range of social requirements and how you may assist your loved one in maintaining a fulfilling social life.

How to tell if a loved one is on the verge of being socially isolated

It’s crucial to check in with people to see how they are doing with their social life. Medical experts are becoming more aware of how loneliness and social isolation may affect one’s health and incorporate these assessments into routine consultations.

Because medical specialists are not always aware of it, it is appropriate to ask if you are concerned about your loved one’s social well-being.

Understanding senior loneliness can also help them avoid harmful social patterns and health problems.

Why are elderly adults more likely to become socially isolated?

Due to personal and health-related causes that can become more prevalent or tougher to cope with as we age, seniors are more likely to become socially isolated.

Seniors’ feelings of loneliness might be influenced by life transitions, significant life events or health issues. Retirement from a meaningful career, relocating to a new location, losing a loved one or the loss of a spouse, for example, can all lead to extreme emotions of loneliness that are difficult to replace.

Seniors’ mobility, the ability to drive and their general senses such as hearing and vision may deteriorate as they age. These considerations might make it more difficult to see friends and family regularly.

What activities for social health do senior living communities prioritize?

Senior living communities are more aware than the general public of the numerous methods to keep seniors’ minds sharp as they age and enhance their health via socializing. Many towns have devised socially isolated senior-friendly activities to keep elders occupied while they take COVID-19 safeguards.

Our staff is dedicated to providing a wide range of activities that serve people socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually and recreationally. There is something for everyone, from outdoor workout courses, to gardening clubs, music recitals and outdoor cultural trips. We will continue to offer socially stimulating and entertaining activities, allowing everyone to engage in a way that is appropriate for them.

In senior living homes, how can I help my loved one have a healthy social life?

Not everyone is an extrovert who needs to be in the company of people all of the time. To various people, socializing means multiple things, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Residents must think about what kind of socialization would be significant for them and work with their doctors to incorporate social objectives into their specific medical goals.

In addition to group activities, many senior living communities, like Hollenbeck Palms, provide libraries, gardens, media rooms ,and other private places where residents can relax alone if they want. Some people, regardless of age, will always prefer an autonomous art lesson to a sociable wine tasting with others; nonetheless, the good news is that there is something for everyone.

Learning about your loved one’s particular socializing preferences and finding groups that fit their requirements might be beneficial. Some communities, like Hollenbeck Palms, may start a new club specifically for them or offer a particular activity that corresponds to their unique interests or hobbies.

The significance of senior socializing

Humans are innately social beings who flourish in secure, safe and friendly environments. Disconnection from others can produce physical pain in the same way that hunger or thirst may. According to this study, the human body might need social interaction in the same way it craves food or water because it is required for the survival of genes.

Loneliness can have long-term consequences such as exacerbated heart disease, poor sleep and depression, the onset of disability, higher dementia risks and even mortality. Long-term mental discomfort, changes in health practices and wear and tear on our bodies from an excessive physiological stress response are considered to cause this.

Although there are many options for where to live when you get older, it is worth remembering that a retirement community, such as a luxurious Continuing Care Retirement Community like Hollenbeck Palms, checks all of the boxes and makes social interaction a priority.