5 ways seniors can stay social


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.

The possible health benefits include:

  1. Reduced risk of mortality, disability and depression
  2. Better cognitive health
  3. Better self-rated health and health-related behaviours

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.”

Here are 5 ways retirement community living can help people feel socially connected:

  1. Less work means more play. When the cooking and cleaning are taken care of, and you have no home repairs or grocery shopping to keep up with, you have plenty of time to dedicate to the things you enjoy doing- instead of that dreaded to-do list.
  2. All are welcome.  Families and friends are always welcome.  Your retirement community is your home and you should feel proud to invite people to come visit.
  3. Friends are everywhere.  At any given time there could be an activity to join in, or a casual group of people to chat with over coffee.  Even meals become social again, with a table of friends to laugh with and talk about the day’s events.
  4. You’re in charge. While there are endless opportunities to visit, you can decide how social you want to be.  Whether you join in on a group activity or enjoy the company of one new friend, it’s up to you.
  5. It’s a family. When you live in the right communal setting, the staff and your neighbours become a network of people who really care about you.  It feels good to know that when you go to bed at night, someone will be there to greet you with a cheery, “Good morning! How are you today?” when you come to breakfast.

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!”


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