Socialization And A Sense Of Belonging
Seniors – particularly those with memory loss – may have fewer opportunities to socialize as they age. Whether driving and/or getting out of the house has become more difficult, their circle of friends has become smaller, their contact with former work colleagues has decreased or their memory impairment interferes with participating in activities, they often spend more time alone.
Seniors with good social support systems in place can have reduced stress, lowered anxiety and depression, and decreased risk for certain physical health concerns. Especially for individuals with memory loss, engaging with other people in social situations has been shown to have many holistic benefits and may even slow the progress of these conditions. One study determined that cognitive abilities declined 70 percent more slowly in individuals who had frequent social connections when compared to those who had little social contact.
The strong correlation between social interaction and the health and well-being of seniors who have the opportunity to be social has been recognized by the National Institute on Aging. We may not completely understand the mechanism that causes higher levels of socialization to support greater brain health, but it’s clear that individuals with a strong social network generally retain more memories than peers who are more isolated.
We also know that feeling lonely or isolated can have a physical and emotional impact on older adults. Older adults who are chronically lonely are at greater risk for depression and often have elevated systolic blood pressure. Through structured, daily social programming in memory care at The Crossings, your loved one can realize the many benefits of socialization – and stay as healthy and connected as possible in a supportive, family-like setting.