The sense of community plays a valuable role in our lives from the moment we are born. It is a fact we can often overlook or take for granted. It’s so woven into our daily lives it’s hard to imagine life without it. But nonetheless, the people in our community form an essential support structure to both our mental and physical wellbeing. The feelings of kinship, intimacy, and affirmation we share with members of our community gives our life meaning in so many ways, on top of providing us with a valuable source of interaction and camaraderie. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for many seniors to find and access a community of their own as they age.
Forming a Community as You Age
As we grow older, it is easy to become estranged from our original communities. In many cases adult children and other family members become invested in their own independent lives, while work colleagues and the friendships fostered there become more distant after retirement. As we age, feelings of loneliness or isolation may develop, and seniors may find it difficult to connect with others because of a lack of mutual interests or differences in age.
One of the main advantages of an assisted living home is the built-in community seniors are welcomed into. Residential assisted living homes often have a diverse resident population and provide programming reflective of varying interests. At Saguaro Ranch Luxury Assisted Living, we provide an enriched environment for residents to make dynamic, engaging connections offering opportunities to take part in activities throughout the week, as well as regular events to look forward to with new friends.
Communities and their activities are also specifically tailored to the needs and preferences of seniors. Seniors can take an active part in choosing the activities they engage with, so they are more likely to feel included and appreciated for their unique perspectives. This fosters a great environment for conversational exchanges and promotes the overall enjoyment of all participants. The nature of the neighborhood encourages friendships and lasting bonds to form through meaningful conversations, as well as mutual experiences and interests.
Community & Physical Health
A key part of maintaining and encouraging good physical health is the resources to engage in worthwhile activities. Studies have shown that good spirits allow people, particularly seniors, to feel more motivated to live an active lifestyle. This takes form in several ways, such as light exercise, yoga, walking, and simply the motivation to remain active. Many of these activities take place within groups that provide essential mental stimulation that makes regular exercise an overall positive and seamless experience in their day to day lives.
Without the incentive of companionship and comradery, it may be difficult to feel inspired to get moving. A stationary lifestyle has many unfavorable effects on the body, especially for those who may have concerns about maintaining their health, such as aging seniors. Seniors with a more active lifestyle within their community can expect better cardiovascular health, a reinforced immunity system, better sleep cycles, and a host of other general health benefits. This can help improve longevity, but more importantly it helps feel better and live healthier.
Maintaining Good Mental Health
Cognition is an important aspect of aging and many seniors are concerned about maintaining their mental abilities. However, this goes beyond the basic psychological and wellbeing benefits of community living. Seniors are often particularly concerned with maintaining their cognitive function and mental awareness. These faculties often decline with age, but the effects of the natural ageing process can be exacerbated through isolation and poor mental exercise. Studies have shown that cognitive impairments associated with ageing can be deterred or avoided completely by simply being more social and active in their communities.
Seniors without a robust social life or community often have little stimulation, therefore they experience fewer opportunities to exercise their mental faculties. The meaningful conversations they share with their peers, as well as the engaging activities that help them maintain their critical thinking skills, in an assisted living community can help them retain and continue to develop their mental functions. Having the opportunity to live a rich, social life that engages them on every level can dramatically improve their overall standard of living.
Community Among Seniors
Despite the many advantages found in assisted living communities, the single greatest draw to seniors continues to be the ability to be part of a group again. As seniors progressively age, the main concern of their loved ones is their physical health and longevity, but these concerns alone are shortsighted. The more obvious appeals of medical support and help with daily activities may be essential to their physical wellbeing, but their emotional, intellectual, and mental wellbeing is just as important to seniors who wish to continue living active lives.
A rich social life is something we usually associate with younger people, but everyone deserves the belonging, meaning, and satisfaction of the human bonds and friendships we enjoy throughout our lives. Regardless of your decision, helping to maintain and grow your loved one’s community is invaluable to their wellness for years to come.