The Importance of Socialization for Seniors during COVID-19
While everyone possesses an innate need for meaningful social engagement, the importance of socialization for seniors may play a vital role in maintaining quality of life. Read on to learn about the benefits of social interaction for seniors from Elegance Living.
Seniors and Socialization: The Health Benefits of Being Social
The health benefits of being social for seniors are plentiful. In fact, consistent social support for older adults can help keep them physically, emotionally, and mentally fit.
Here are just a few significant benefits of social interaction for seniors:
Social Support for Older Adults Provides a Sense of Purpose
For seniors who spent years pursuing their careers or raising families, the post-retirement life may lead to a decreased sense of purpose. Being an active part of a social community can fill the need for belonging and meaning.
Social Interaction for Seniors Can Increase Self-Worth
Positive interaction with different age groups on a regular basis may combat feelings of isolation. When seniors are constantly surrounded by others, they can feel a sense of self-worth and meaning in their lives. Seniors who reside in a retirement community have the advantage of being close to other people, which may make it easier for them to develop long-lasting relationships with peers, too.
Physical Health Benefits of Being Social
When seniors are invited, accompanied, and encouraged by others to engage in physical activities, it can have a positive effect on their physical well-being. Organized activities like group exercise classes can help boost the immune system, decrease physical pain, and lower blood pressure. Even taking a short walk within the community to meet up with friends can help maintain physical abilities.
Mental Health Benefits of Social Interaction for Seniors
Seniors who are frequently lonely or isolated may experience negative mental and physical impacts. On the other hand, seniors who are socially engaged on a regular basis may be less likely to experience feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) explains that healthy individuals who experience social well-being may have lower levels of interleukin-6, which is typically found in age-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and even some forms of cancer.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, remaining socially active can reduce risk for depression, as well as support brain health and potentially even delay the onset of dementia. Overall, staying social can create a positive impact on both mental and physical health.
How Seniors Can Cultivate a Healthy Social Life
For many seniors, increasing socialization doesn't happen on its own. Commitment, support, and diligence are often requirements of fostering effective socialization strategies.
Here are a few ways seniors can experience the health benefits of being social:
How To Maintain Social Support for Older Adults during COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the globe making it nearly impossible to interact and connect with one another in person. Seniors especially have been left in a particularly difficult position as the virus affects them disproportionately hard. When visitors and hugs are off-limits, it can be hard to stay socially and mentally engaged during this uncertain time. Luckily, there are many ways to stay engaged and connected, even while practicing social distancing guidelines. Here are a few ideas to keep you safe but still have some levels of social interaction.
Schedule Virtual Visits
There are different free communication tools accessible to anyone with a computer, phone, or tablet. Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, and Google Hangouts are just a few of the ways seniors can virtually connect with their families. Even just a regular telephone call can go a long way to boosting you and your loved ones’ spirits.
Learn A New Skill
Keeping the mind active during the pandemic is essential. This could be a great time to learn something new. Many of the top leading Ivy League universities offer free classes online. Click here to see what’s on offer.
Get A Pen Pal
If you don’t have access to technology or prefer to communicate the old-fashioned way, consider writing your loved ones a letter. Or, you can strike up a friendship with a new pen pal. This type of bond can go a long way to lifting your spirits. Share your favorite books, memories, or anything else with your new pen pal.
Start A Book Club
For avid readers, joining (or starting) a book club can be a great way to pass the time. Schedule weekly calls to discuss the book. This type of activity is ideal because it keeps your mind active while allowing you to connect with others.
Give Back To The Community
Giving back and showing gratitude can be a helpful way to cope with these unprecedented times. While it might not be safe to volunteer in-person, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer virtually. For example, our Life2.0 program has a Benevolent Give Back scheme that plans and executes multiple monthly volunteer opportunities that benefit local organizations. Contact us today to see how you can get involved. You can find other volunteer opportunities through volunteermatch.com.
If you are creative, you can make gifts for other people. You might write, paint, make crafts, puppets, or even knit. By creating something for someone else, it can help keep your spirit lifted.
How Senior Living Can Help
The most practical way to create a healthy social life will largely depend on you and your family's unique situation. If you're concerned about an aging loved one's risk for isolation, we are here for you and your family whenever you need us.
Senior living communities built around the care, understanding, and compassion your loved one deserves can serve as an antidote to the isolation that many seniors face. With the ongoing stream of opportunities to engage with other seniors and caregivers, our community is designed to provide your loved one with a sense of belonging and purpose.
Our community has a wide array of daily activities that residents can enjoy. For more information about our socialization opportunities during COVID-19, contact us today.