Friends and companions fulfill a vast majority of our social needs. We seek them primarily because we want to avoid the negative effects of loneliness as much as possible. Loneliness only leads to depression, which, as many caretakers in assisted living memory care communities can attest, is never a wise thing to have for those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
Of course, finding and establishing friendships is not just about beating these terrible conditions. We also can’t deny the essential role it plays in overall healthy aging, which, in turn, translates to a better quality of life, regardless of how old one is.
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What Are the Proven Benefits of Friendships for Healthy Aging?
Alzheimer’s senior care benefits from its ability to beat depression. But what are the other ways that having friends later in life can open routes toward health as we get older? The following are just some of the most compelling advantages::
- Friendship is also just as beneficial to promoting cognitive ability among seniors. It’s safe to say that they should never let their minds become static and interacting with friends and nurturing relationships are but some of the simple ways that they can prevent it from happening.
- There’s also a growing body of evidence that points to better health in relation to one’s social connections. Simply put, people who are less lonely are less likely to become prone to the usual chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, as well as mental and cardiac decline.
- There are a number of studies that can already prove the link between longer lifespans and interpersonal relationships and social bonds. In fact, these studies actually underscored the fact that the size of one’s social network is often directly proportional to one’s lifespan.
- Friends, at least the truly genuine ones, influence our lifestyle, one or another. This rings truer in tightly-knit friendships formed in your average Senior day care in Ohio or wherever you happen to be residing.
Senior Living Communities May be Better than In-Home Care When It Comes to This Factor
After all, your average Alzheimer’s community for seniors or Senior home care in Ohio more than likely already has an established community with a number of seniors, staff, and caretakers with whom you can freely interact and form social bonds. This perk is virtually absent if you choose in-home care or any other possible setup (like having your immediate family take care of you or you taking care of your senior loved one).
The studies mentioned above also underlined the importance of the size of one’s social network when enjoying the most benefits.
That being said, will relying on assisted living care provide all the social needs of the senior? Well, it’s not as easy as you think.
A Lot of It Depends on the Community
If you want to prioritize your or your loved one’s social needs, you need to be extra mindful of the community of any given community that you’re considering. Knowing beforehand whether you will get along with most of the seniors should actually be one of your primary priorities before making a final decision. The Best Alzheimer’s community in Madison is one that should tick this particular checkbox.
- At best, the senior should know beforehand that they’ll be able to make friends with the people he or she will be sharing the community with.
- The best way to do this is to get a feel of the community first. Allot a day or two for the senior to find out the people he or she will be interacting with daily.
- Are there people with whom the senior shares interests and hobbies?
- Are the community-wide activities amenable to everyone and encourage social bonds to be formed?
The senior community should be open to allowing this “trial period” because, in the end, it will only be for the benefit of everyone. Failure to establish a connection only becomes a recipe for disaster, leading to either the senior having no choice but to transfer to a different community or ending up in one that doesn’t nurture a crucial aspect of his or her well-being.
How Can Seniors Establish and Maintain Their Social Relationships While Living in Senior Care Communities?
If you’re already living in Alzheimer’s care near me or Senior care near me, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure that you’ll continue to enrich your social life for as long as you’re in there. Here are just a few solid ideas you should consider::
- Join a club or group with people who share similar interests.
- Be active in participating in various community activities.
- Start or join conversations during even the most mundane activities like eating lunch, lounging at the park benches, or walking within the community vicinity.
- Enroll in fitness or wellness-related programs where you can not only benefit from the therapeutic activities you can do but also have plenty of opportunities to socialize.
- Volunteer to join activities involving organizations (like non-profit organizations) partnered with the community.
- Reach out to your friends regularly and always seek to widen your social circles by looking for new seniors to interact with.
That being said, any assisted living in Madison Ohio should also take proactive steps in encouraging their seniors to participate in their social events. Moreover, caretakers should be encouraged and trained to be open to forming friendships with the seniors. The role of the entire community is crucial because, ultimately, the managers are the ones deciding what events and activities to offer to their seniors.
Failing to establish strong friendships is an ongoing tragedy among seniors living in Madison assisted living or any other place for that matter. What’s helpful is that this can be avoided by remembering the pointers we shared here. Aim for no less than lasting, genuine friendships and camaraderie because, in the end, it’s both selfless and selfish (in a very healthy, positive way, we must stress) to act..