Creating Community: Why A Social Network is Important For Aging
The social distancing and lockdowns of Covid-19 shed light on the dangers of isolation and loneliness. That was especially true for seniors, who are already at risk of those things.
As we begin to see more studies and information disseminated on healthy aging, it’s more apparent than ever that social connections and community are an important piece.
An in-depth report on aging from the World Health Organization (WHO), found that having a sense of community or connectedness is the key to aging more successfully. Positive health benefits included lower rates of anxiety, stronger immune system, improved cognitive function.
Similar studies have found having a social network wards off depression and maintains or increases physical activity.
The big question is how do we create a sense of community if we don’t have one already? According to a Livestrong.com article there are eleven ways to get started.
The first step to creating community is taking inventory of your current group. Look at how often you’re interacting and the types of activities and decide what you need to be fulfilled. Examine your relationships and determine which ones need nurturing and who is part of your real support system.
If you’re looking for new people to join your circle, consider meeting them through shared hobbies and activities. “Getting back to these interests can increase autonomy and feelings of purposefulness, as well as give you a chance to explore social connections with new people.”
Volunteering also opens doors into new friendships and provides the added benefit of giving back.
For more tips on how to create a healthy aging community, click here.
About Advena Living
Moving to an assisted living or long-term community comes with a built-in social group. We try to facilitate connections between residents as we get to know their individual preferences, hobbies and interests. Our Activities Directors provide ample opportunities for social engagement through activities in and out of the building and other special events.
Advena Living specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehabilitation and assisted living services throughout the state. We have locations in Bonner Springs, Cherryvale, Clay Center, Clearwater, Rose Hill, Topeka, and Wichita.
Our name “Advena” means newcomer. We welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life.