When families consider assisted living, they tend to focus on the more practical side of the situation. We look at things like their difficulty maintaining a home, the fact they have health concerns or the fact that the general needs of the individual are getting harder to maintain.
What often gets overlooked is the need for social activity. Humans are social creatures by nature, and this does not change as we age. In fact, strong social connections can be even more important for a senior citizen. This is why social activity is an important consideration when making a decision about moving a loved one to assisted living.
Why social wellness is a concern for seniors
A healthy social life is important for people of all ages and it can have several benefits for both your mental and physical health. For older people, these important social connections can be harder to maintain. As a person advances in age, many of their friends may pass away, they could lose close family members, their spouse and as you age, it becomes more difficult to form new social connections and to go out and engage in the same way that you would have at a younger age.
For many seniors, it requires some effort to maintain an active social life. They might lose their driver’s license and not be able to go places that used to provide social opportunities. They lose friends and loved ones and no longer have a way to meet new people. These and other factors can lead to a situation where a senior becomes isolated.
Benefits of Social Activity
Most people recognize that being social has a positive impact on their life. There is something about spending time with other people that just feels good. But there is more to it than just the fact that social interaction feels good. Social wellness is important for our mental and physical health.
Seniors that are socially active are less likely to experience depression. Along with that, social wellness has also been associated with a lower risk for conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Studies have also shown that socially active seniors have less risk for things like cardiovascular disease and they also tend to have stronger immune system function. Overall, social activity will provide a healthier, happier life for a senior, and it has also been shown that socially active seniors live longer.
Social Activity and Assisted Living
Assisted living can be beneficial for seniors that lack social activity. A good assisted living center does more than provide a safe home for seniors – they also provide a community. An assisted living center is a place where a senior can meet new people and form new social connections. In fact, many assisted living centers focus on socialization as an important part of the living experience for the residents.
At an assisted living center, they will have access to common areas and rooms where they can socialize with other residents. The center will arrange social events to provide more opportunities for interaction. They might even arrange various trips that allow the seniors to get out and experience more of the world.
For many seniors that live on their own, opportunities like these are not available. They could become socially isolated and depressed. They could lose their feeling of attachment to the world around them. They might stop caring for their health or it could even lead to harmful behaviors.
The staff at Angels on Tracy recognizes the need for socialization and we pride ourselves on providing a welcoming living experience that offers plenty of opportunity for social engagement. To learn more about our assisted living centers in the Simi Valley region, contact the team from Angels on Tracy.