Staying Connected & Socially Engaged Promotes Healthy Aging

Socialization is essential throughout our lives. As children, socializing helps us learn how to communicate, build relationships, and solve problems. As adults, these interactions offer support and keep our minds active.Vivage knows how important of a role socialization plays in healthy aging. Offering long-term care and senior living services throughout Colorado and Missouri, we want to share the importance of socialization and the benefits it brings to aging adults.

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to adjust how we keep residents and families connected and socially engaged. We put the health and safety of residents and guests above anything else.

Cultivating a Sense of Purpose and Belonging

Purposeful living is something that we all strive for. Feeling a sense of purpose helps us feel fulfilled in our daily lives. For individuals who have spent most of their adult life building a career, retirement can seem less purposeful. Socialization can help to fill this role.

The National Institute on Aging states, “people who engage in personally meaningful and productive activities with others tend to live longer, boost their mood, and have a sense of purpose.” 

When we interact with others and participate in various activities, a sense of purpose is instilled. Additionally, forming and nurturing close-knit relationships can help us feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves. 

This sense of purpose and belonging can increase self-esteem, self-worth and create a newfound excitement for life.

Encouraging Physical Health

Socialization not only improves self-esteem but also encourages physical health. When you interact with friends and peers, you are likely participating in a variety of activities. Varying in intensity level, these activities get you up and moving. Whether you are walking to meet up with friends or playing an intense game of pickleball, relationships can encourage you to stay active and offer accountability when it comes to a physical routine.

Furthermore, when we are in the company of close friends, we tend to feel more relaxed. This environment can actually reduce feelings of stress and lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Preventing Cognitive Decline

Social isolation presents many risks to individuals of all ages, including anxiety and depression. However, individuals who lead active social lives are much less likely to develop these conditions and promote healthy aging. 

Socialization can also improve brain health and help to prevent cognitive decline. When you hold a conversation, you are using the parts of your brain that require you to remember what has already been said and formulate an appropriate response. By socializing with peers, you are utilizing memory, thinking, and language skills.

According to Medical News Today, “some studies have suggested that levels of social interaction can prevent cognitive decline and even dementia, while others have shown that group socializing can prevent the harmful effects of aging on memory.”

Encouraging Socialization at Vivage 

Since COVID-19, our team has been extremely conscious of how we encourage socialization. We understand the benefits of social interaction on healthy aging, but our highest priority is to keep residents, their families, and our team members safe.

Due to these uncertain times, we have implemented different ways for individuals to stay connected with friends and family. Through the use of our iPads, iN2L computer systems, and other tools, individuals within our long-term care communities in Colorado and Missouri have been able to stay virtually connected.

Other ways individuals can stay virtually connected to those they love include: 

- FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype
- Talking on the phone
- Using social media to share photos and other life updates

Socialization is crucial to healthy aging. This is why we have found different ways to interact with one another even when in-person visits are [currently] not an option. To learn more about the services we offer and how we encourage socialization throughout each of our Vivage communities, contact a member of our team or visit our website.

 

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