<!–[CDATA[Having a close circle of friends is important at any age. But those bonds are especially important as we age. In fact, research shows that a strong social network of family and friends helps promote successful aging.
According to research conducted by scientists at Adelphi University, older adults who have close personal relationships are less likely to suffer from health conditions such as depression and obesity.
But as we grow older, our social circles often become disrupted. Retirement can lead to relocation to a warmer climate. Close friends may go through a divorce or pass away. And an older adult may experience the loss of a spouse.
These losses can impact both the size and quality of an older adult’s relationships. Research from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) shows that adults between the ages 75 and 85 have smaller social networks.
If building new friendships is a challenge for you or an aging Indiana loved one, senior living can be a solution.
How Senior Living Helps Older Adults in Indiana
Here are a few ways senior living communities help older adults rebuild important social networks.
Life Enrichment Programs
A commitment to life enrichment is a core component of senior living communities. At Five Star Senior Living, we focus on the five dimensions of wellness as we create programs and activities for our residents:
We call this program Lifestyle360.
Residents have an opportunity to participate in activities ranging from book clubs to Chair Yoga.
If you or your senior loved one is feeling lonely, a senior living community can help expand social networks and find new passions.
Supportive Social Environment
When it comes to maintaining relationships, where you live matters. An environment that makes it easier for seniors to connect and engage with each other another is another positive part of a senior living community.
Common areas and community living rooms encourage social interaction. These shared spaces provide seniors with both a feeling of home and an informal place to connect with one another.
Close Proximity to a Peer Group
Living in close proximity to older adults who may be experiencing similar ups and downs in life can also promote healthy aging. Sharing troubles with other seniors can help boost mood and lift the spirit. And having friends nearby not only encourages close relationships, it can also lead to a healthier lifestyle including fewer incidences of obesity and a healthier heart.
How Adult Children Can Encourage a Senior Loved One
Building new friendships can take time and confidence. An older adult who may have always relied on the comfort of a long-standing social circle may feel intimidated meeting new people. A senior living community can provide the space they need to create new relationships.