The Benefits of Social Activities in Senior Living Communities
It’s not surprising that staying physically active is essential to overall health as you age. However, staying socially active is just as important. Unfortunately, aging adults often find this more difficult as relatives and friends move away or physical limitations make it more difficult to go out with friends.
The lack of social activities and interaction with others may result in loneliness and isolation, which can negatively affect your emotional, mental and physical health. That’s why it’s so critical to look for senior living communities that understand the importance of social interaction and provide a well-rounded selection of social activities.
Benefits of Being Socially Active for Seniors
Why are social activities for aging adults so important? Maintaining connections with others as you grow older offers many benefits, such as:
- Benefit #1 – Boosts Physical Health – Regular social activities offer multiple physical benefits, such as reducing pain, boosting your immune system, and lowering blood pressure. Becoming more social may also result in getting more physically active, which offers additional health benefits.
- Benefit #2 – Improves Mental Health – When you stay in touch with friends and engage in activities with others, it can help boost emotional health, lower stress levels and reduce your risk of depression.
- Benefit #3 – Increased Longevity – Staying connected with friends and relatives may even help you enjoy a happier, longer life.
- Benefit #4 – Improved Sleeping and Eating Habits – Older adults tend to eat more and choose healthier foods when they eat their meals with others. Having good relationships also leads to improved sleep, which is critical for overall health.
- Benefit #5 – Boosts Brain Health – Socializing involves staying engaged and participating in conversation. Staying socially active improves cognitive function and may reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
How to Become More Active
Physical activity is vital for people of every age, and some of the benefits of being active include improved mood, better brain function, reduced risk of diseases and improved balance and strength to prevent injuries. While you should always discuss a new activity plan with your doctor, here are a few easy ways you can become more active.
- Get at least 2.5 hours of aerobic activity each week
- Just five minutes of being physically active can offer great health benefits. Start small and increase your activity slowly.
- Try activities that make the heart beat faster, such as swimming, dancing, stationary biking and fast walking.
- Focus on strengthening those muscles a couple of times a week
- Use hand weights or exercise bands to do muscle-strengthening exercises. Water bottles make a great substitute for hand weights if you don’t have any.
- Work on balance regularly
- Stand up from sitting down, and work to be able to do it without holding on to anything.
- Try standing on one foot. Begin by holding onto a chair as you build balance.
- Consider trying yoga, whether it’s a class or you follow along with a class online.
- Give tai chi a try to improve balance.
How to Become More Sociable
Engaging in social activities offers great benefits, but how can you become more sociable? The Monarch at Richardson offers a lifestyle which includes a variety of activities that help residents stay active, including:
- Fitness Room – The fitness room is an excellent place to work on your physical health while spending time socializing with others. Find a workout buddy and enjoy getting fit together.
- Social Events – Social events like movie nights or game nights give aging adults in our community a way to have fun and enjoy activities with others. It’s a great way to make new friends.
- Programs – Special programs like group entertainment, group classes, or fun hobbies can all come together to give residents a chance to visit with others and do something they enjoy in a group setting.
- Dining with Other Residents – Eating with other people offers great benefits, and we offer dining with other residents to provide those in our community with the chance to talk, laugh and enjoy great food with friends.
Additional ways you can become more sociable within our Texas senior living community include:
- Scheduling time to chat with other residents who share common interests.
- Talk to the activities director to find out what activities are available that match your interests.
- Get involved in community volunteer opportunities.
- Start a conversation with someone new each week.
The Importance of Remaining Socially Active
Social activities are critical for aging adults because of the serious risks that come with isolation and loneliness. According to a study done at Brigham Young University, loneliness can be just as deadly as obesity or smoking. Some of the risks of isolation include:
- Increase in Unhealthy Habits – Being socially isolated may result in an increase in unhealthy habits, such as drinking in excess, failing to stay physically active and smoking.
- Increased Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia – Loneliness and isolation are significant risk factors for cognitive decline and have been found to increase the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Higher Stress Levels – Research shows that in lonely individuals, especially seniors, stress levels and blood pressure are significantly higher.
- Higher Risk of Premature Death – Social isolation also increases the risk of premature death from all causes, a significant risk that rivals the risks of physical inactivity, obesity and smoking.
With so many risks to isolation and loneliness, it’s easy to see the importance of social interaction for seniors. Providing a wide selection of social activities at senior living communities is an important way to ensure the physical and mental wellbeing of aging adults. The Monarch at Richardson offers social events and activities for residents, no matter their activity level. There’s something for everyone, whether they enjoy working on, dining with others or taking part in game or movie nights.
To learn more about The Monarch at Richardson, available social activities and the rest of the amenities we offer, download our community brochure today. You can also contact us to schedule a tour to come experience what we offer.