The aging process is different for everyone and can bring with it a lot of challenges for both the elderly person themselves and their family and caregivers. The needs of each senior citizen are unique when it comes to things like what they need help with, and their health. However, one thing that is widely agreed on is that all elderly people experience a better quality of life and significant mental health benefits from having an active social life.
Here we look at why:
Keeping the Mind Active
Interacting with other people is a key way for elderly people to keep their minds active, which is beneficial in prolonging their mental capabilities. Having conversations, playing games, and recalling memories to share with others all make far better use of the mind than doing passive things like watching TV. While interacting with family and caregivers can be a part of this, having a community of friends around from their own generation is extremely beneficial, which is why assisted living facilities promote senior community living as a way to enhance quality of life and mental health.
Elderly people are just as prone to feeling lonely and isolated as anybody else, and just like anybody else, this can make them feel depressed. They also generally don’t have the same options for going out and meeting people as younger people do, especially if they have mobility issues or health problems. Living alone, even with regular visits from caregivers, can often leave them feeling bored and lonely. Assisted living communities offer easy ways for seniors to socialize, but if your loved one is living alone and not ready to move to an assisted living environment yet, then it can be a good idea to look for senior groups in your community and encourage them to join.
As well as being generally more healthy and helping people avoid that sense of loneliness, there’s the simple fact that life is more fun with friends. Aging doesn’t have to be a time when you no longer get to laugh or hear interesting new stories or have fun conversations. We all want the best for our loved ones, and a social life with friends they can talk to can make their days enjoyable. It is also nice to think that we might also still be able to have fun with friends well into old age.
Reducing the Burden on Family
A final reason why it’s good for seniors to have a community around them is that it means family members aren’t the only people they have to talk to or look forward to seeing. Even if you visit regularly, it is good to know that you’re not the only person in their life.
Whether it’s through assisted living communities or local senior groups, it’s truly important that elderly people get to socialize and interact. If you are concerned that a loved one is isolated, it can be well worth looking into one of these solutions.