Many seniors assume growing older is synonymous with growing apart from old friends, family, or regular social interactions. However, building a community in your seniority is essential in staying happy and healthy, and it is more attainable than you may think.
Why it is Important
Nothing is more important than having a community to lean on in times of trouble, excitement, sadness, or doubt. Having people around you that motivate, support, and push you to be your best self are invaluable in times of need, but how can it help in everyday life?
Being a part of a community provides the obvious benefit of having people to talk to, socialize with, and depend on, but it also comes with some added hidden advantages. As you age and your health begins to decline, a community can help you regain some of that well-being and independence. Older adults who engage in consistent, authentic social interactions are70% less likely to experience cognitive decline than adults with low socialization.
Seniors with a set group of people are more likely to engage in physical activity, as well. Regular engagement with your community allows you to keep a routine, which can lead to healthy habits like going for daily walks, eating nutritious meals together, or holding each other accountable for a healthy sleeping schedule.
A community also reverses a significant risk factor of poor physical and mental health: loneliness. Loneliness can account for several serious health risks, such as an increased risk of dementia, heart disease, and stroke, and higher rates of anxiety and depression.
Being a part of a community can give us a greater sense of self and purpose in our lives. If we can only find the right people, we can be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
How to Create A Meaningful Community
Being in a community is not as simple as having people around you, however. Having insignificant relationships with thirty people is not nearly as meaningful as having a handful of people who genuinely love and support you. Your community can be as big or small as you like. As long as the people in your community are there for you whenever you need them, then it is enough.
Creating a community from scratch does not have to be difficult. Existing groups or events in your senior living community are almost always available to join. If you find one that interests you, then give it a try! Interacting with people who have the same interests as you is the first step in creating lasting relationships.
Here are some ways you could strengthen or expand your community:
1. Join new groups offered by your community (or create your own) that reflect your interests and values, ex: spiritual prayer groups, physical activity groups, environmental actions groups, etc...
2. Reach out to old friends that you have been meaning to catch up with
3. Schedule certain days of the week as a time to talk to family members
4. Find volunteering opportunities
5. Learn about new technology to help keep up with friends/family that live far away
Wellzesta strives to strengthen the sense of community you have already built in your senior living organization. Wellzesta brings people together into one centralized platform and helps build connections for residents to create and maintain meaningful, long-lasting relationships.
Wellzesta’s Connect software allows residents to keep in touch with their families at all times. Resident’s loved ones are able to see how they are doing by receiving real-time wellness updates and reports while also keeping in contact through messaging and video chat.
Wellzesta Life creates a space for residents to find other people who are interested in similar activities and allows them to create groups where they can explore new relationships and interests.
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