As you approach retirement age, one of the most important considerations should be how you plan to live out your golden years while remaining active and healthy. Senior living communities provide an ideal option to help you achieve both goals.
One of the most important parts of staying healthy while aging and one of the many benefits of living in a community like ours is the connection between you and others. Studies have shown that seniors who engage in social activities with their peers tend to be more physically and mentally healthy than those who are socially isolated.
Socializing helps strengthen your memory, stimulates creative thinking, and encourages communication skills. Additionally, it promotes a sense of belonging which can help alleviate loneliness and depression.
In this article, we will discuss why staying engaged with others as you age is so important, the health benefits of doing it, and how senior communities can help foster it.
What Are the Benefits that Come with Staying Social as You Age?
A study conducted in 2017 measured how the worry of developing a memory-related disorder is a top concern among older adults. In a related 2019 study on adults over 50, researchers found that as social isolation increased, participants’ memory declined. With the global pandemic in the past few years keeping people from seeing and socializing with others like before, how do you work on keeping your mind sharp and your overall health from declining?
Active adult communities and other senior living facilities help to keep seniors engaged not only in things like fitness or physical activity but assist in providing mental stimulation as well.
Facilities like ours have programs like craft clubs to participate in and social events for those who may not usually get the chance to enjoy a day trip or outing. Additionally, many communities have things like fitness centers or areas to spend time outdoors for physical activity.
The Physical Benefits Of Staying Social For Senior Adults
While an active adult community can provide many different services to help get you mingling with other residents, there are physical health benefits to be aware of that come from having a social support system. Here are a few physical wellness benefits of staying social with other active adults in senior living communities as you age:
1. Keeping In Touch With Others In Your Retirement Community Can Lower Stress
Staying social as a senior citizen can have multiple benefits beyond physical health. Socializing with other active residents in your senior living facilities can help reduce stress levels in several ways. For instance, when seniors interact with others in their age group, they are more likely to feel less isolated and less stressed out about their current life situation.
Lower stress levels can positively affect the physical health of senior adults in many ways. Lowered stress also reduces the body’s response to fight-or-flight mode, which helps protect against high blood pressure and cortisol level spikes. Elevated cortisol levels can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other medical conditions due to increased blood pressure.
2. Staying Social Helps To Encourage A Healthy Lifestyle
Social contacts throughout a senior living community also provide support and encouragement, which can lead to healthier lifestyle choices such as exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep. Regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of insulin and heart-related health conditions. For seniors, in particular, physical activity can help maintain muscle strength and balance, thus reducing the risk of falling.
Additionally, social groups within a retirement community can also encourage good nutrition and healthy sleep patterns as well. Eating a healthy diet helps to promote overall health, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and maintain a healthy weight.
Getting enough sleep is vital for seniors because our sleeping patterns change as we age. Many seniors experience insomnia or other sleep disturbances, and social connection can help to keep them motivated to pursue an established sleep routine.
The Mental Benefits of Staying Social for Senior Adults
Staying socially connected has many mental health benefits for seniors. Socializing within a community for older adults helps to protect against loneliness, depression, and anxiety, as well as providing emotional support, boosting self-esteem, reducing stress levels, and giving a sense of purpose.
Here are just a few of the significant mental wellness benefits in older adults maintaining social relationships:
1. Social Ties Can Improve Mental Health in Seniors
A strong social community of family, friends, and acquaintances can improve mental health by helping reduce feelings of isolation, improving mental stimulation, and providing a sense of belonging. Having meaningful conversations with other residents can also help to reduce stress levels by allowing seniors to express their feelings in a safe environment.
Additionally, staying socially active is an important part of self-care and can help seniors maintain a healthy outlook on life by encouraging positive social connections. Social activities that a senior living community provides, such as going for walks together, playing games, visiting museums, or attending religious services, are all beneficial ways to stay connected with others and improve overall mental health.
2. Social Activity Encourages Mental Stimulation
Staying socially active is essential in helping seniors stay mentally sharp and reducing the risk of memory loss or dementia. Research has shown that people who engage in stimulating conversation and activities are less likely to experience a cognitive decline due to age-related illnesses.
Seniors who stay socially active within their senior living communities can also benefit from having people around for assistance with managing medications, looking out for signs of illness, and providing emotional support during difficult times.
Participating in senior living community activities with other active adults boosts morale and aids in cognitive stimulation, which can slow down the effects of aging on memory and brain function.
Taking part in services offered by the senior living community, such as board games, puzzles, singing, dancing, and other forms of physical activity, provides mental stimulation and helps to maintain memory retention.
Feel Supported in A Senior Living Community of Your Own At Calvary Fellowship Homes
Choosing the right place for your later years can make an enormous difference in your health and wellness, and Calvary Fellowship Homes is the choice for you. With our continuing care structure in Lancaster, PA, we offer personal care, long-term care services, and other forms of specialized living situations for your needs as you age. Contact us today for more information on our personal care or other living options.