We know that older adults often experience changes in physical health, but they also experience a change in their social roles (such as retirement or children having grown up) that can influence their opportunities for socializing with people. This is important to note, as studies suggest that social activities may be particularly important for older adults.
One of the primary reasons people chose to live in a retirement community is for the social interaction. Many seniors share that they feel their neighbourhoods have changed and they no longer know everyone on their street. Health and mobility issues can make it harder to get out and visit with friends. While the company of children and grandchildren is welcome, it isn’t the same as engaging with people with shared experiences, values and interests.
The psychological effects of social connectedness may include feelings of self-efficacy, a sense of meaning and purpose, and better mental health.
This seems to ring true for Seasons Retirement Communities resident, Cliff who says, “When I first arrived at Seasons I was really wondering about my life and the purpose of it. Since living here I have met many wonderful people, and one special lady friend in particular. These relationships have given me a purpose, and a reason to look forward to being alive.”
Beppie, another Seasons resident, shared what a recent day was like for her: “I was feeling great and I tried some new things. I played Jackpot before, participated in a Wii bowling game and watched basketball in the foyer. Afterward, I went into the Bistro and found friends to have coffee with. We were having such a good time, we started singing ‘You Are My Sunshine’. And I get to go to Pub Night tonight. It is a good day!”