All the joys you’ve experienced in life don’t have to come to a halt just because you’re moving into a senior living community. This is a common misconception in our industry that we hope to debunk. In fact, continuing to engage in the activities you love and socializing with others becomes even easier at a senior living community. The opportunities to socialize can make the transition smoother and benefit your health.

It’s true. When seniors are physically active and socially connected, life becomes more enjoyable, and worries fade away. Let’s explore the importance of socialization for seniors and how independent living communities create an environment that promotes a flourishing lifestyle.

Improvements to cognitive health

As you age, contact with close friends and family becomes increasingly important to your mental and emotional health. Think about how happy you are to spend time with company, whether you’re catching up on the phone, taking a walk together, or sharing a meal.

Feeling close to others helps combat stress and depression and even reduces the risk of dementia. Social isolation does the complete opposite, increasing the risks of emotional stress and even cognitive decline. Staying connected physically and emotionally helps you exercise your intellect and social skills and keeps your mind sharp.

Improvements to physical health

The benefits of socializing also carry over to your physical health. Studies have shown that participating in social activities can:

Not all social interaction has to be intensely physical, but even a daily walk, gardening, yoga class, or a few holes of golf with friends (walking, no carts) can improve your heart health, improve flexibility and balance, and strengthen muscles and bones.

Increased longevity

It seems only natural that if social interaction improves cognitive and physical health, it can lead to a longer life span. When considering making the move to a senior living community, make sure the community offers everything you’re looking for in a social and supportive lifestyle. A wide range of social activities to choose from can be as important as the amenities offered. When both work in tandem, there will be no stopping your goals of ideal retirement living.

Better sleep and eating habits

Did you know that when dining with others, seniors tend to eat a more balanced diet? Socialization during a meal can also evoke fond feelings of nostalgia, from dining with family and friends during holidays and special events. The comfort that comes with eating and an improved diet relates directly to better sleep. Seniors are more susceptible to malnutrition and less sleep as they age, so socialization is essential for these two important aspects of daily living.

Feelings of support and belonging

The literal definition of “socialization” is the activity of mixing socially with others. When you find common interests amongst peers and develop close relationships from those shared interests, trust and support are the welcomed results.

Feeling close to others and engaging in joyful activities together can help you form a support system during a time in life when you need it most. You may be living far from family or have experienced loss. When this is the case, socialization creates a chosen family for you and a comforting sense of belonging.

How can seniors stay social?

Regardless of where you’re retiring, the opportunities to live a socially connected life are endless. Check out some of our favorite social activities for seniors below, and get started on your journey to healthier and more supportive living.

Villas by Doctor Roya is a physician-inspired, independently owned and operated assisted living facility for elderly care, conveniently located in Lake Forest and fully licensed by the State of California.

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