We all feel lonely from time to time, but seniors are especially susceptible to chronic loneliness. In fact, it affects 1 in 5 seniors. Isolation and loneliness can cause symptoms such as cognitive decline, depression, increased stress levels, high blood pressure and in some cases an early death. Thankfully, these side effects are entirely preventable by taking measures to ensure a high level of social wellness and regular activity.
Seniors experiencing isolation may have physical indicators of their distress. Some common symptoms are:
- Rarely leaving the house
- Choosing to not interact with others
- Difficulty with activities of daily living
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Tiredness and fatigue
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BEING SOCIALLY ACTIVE
Not only does having an active social life make you happy, but it also makes you healthy. Adults who are regularly socially active can expect benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of Alzheimer's diseases and dementia, and decreased chance of certain cancers. Therefore, encouraging social wellness and regular social interaction leads seniors to live a more independent life without needing medical intervention.
ACTIVITES THAT PROMOTE SOCIAL WELLNESS
Social wellness refers to the ability to bond and maintain meaningful relationships with others. Especially if seniors have been isolated for awhile, or are naturally shy – it may take some convincing to get them to participate in activities. However, social interaction is much like physical exercise, while it may be uncomfortable at first it will get easier!
While appropriate activities will vary based on an individual's abilities and personal preferences, here are ten suggestions to get started:
- Make a plan to exercise regularly at a gym
- Set a reoccurring date to get dinner out
- Enjoy a movie, art display or catch a sporting game
- Participate in a painting class
- Plan a trip to see out of town friends or family
- Volunteer your time at a non-profit
- Schedule play time with children at a local elementary school
- Join a hobby club – like a book, garden, or golf club
- Plan a small get together at your house
- Learn a new hobby by taking a class
HOW FIELDSTONE COMMUNITIES PROMOTES SOCIAL INTERACTION
Whether you decide to visit one of our memory care communities or independent and assisted living communities, you will notice that our communities are designed for engagement. From open common areas to a variety of seating, we want our residents to feel right at home. In addition to our building design, we also have activities happening multiple times a day. We staff each community with a Life Enrichment Director who develops activities meant to encourage happiness and interaction amongst residents.
If you would like to visit a Fieldstone community and learn more about how our activities and buildings promote social wellness, please contact your local Fieldstone community. We cannot wait to meet you!