Why Having A Community When You Age Is Important
A community is very important for your senior loved ones. When you spend time visiting them, you are contributing to their emotional happiness. According to the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, social isolation of seniors has resulted in cognitive decline, health decline, and increased infection rates and the worst case is that it may result in early death. This is why you should always work towards helping your aged loved ones establish a sense of community.
Importance Of Community for older adults
A community, in this case, is a collection of social interactions with friends, new acquaintances, and organizations that help create this wonderful sense of well-being and belonging. The idea that is behind growing and maintaining a sense of community for your elderly loved one is to fulfill their need for a connection with others. Here are more benefits of a community for your elderly loved one.
1. Community helps older adults stay emotionally engaged
A community for your elderly loved one evokes positive memories to help them stay connected and feel less lonely. The activities that they participate in within a community help them ward off depression, loneliness, and stress. With their emotions positively engaged, they can thrive and live fulfilling lives during their sunset years.
2. Community provides new experiences for the future
Communities help senior loved ones feel young and happy. The activities help create new cherished memories that will give them and those they love something to look back on in the future. Any activity, whether it is community work, a book club, church, a memorable party, a support group session, a quiet group stroll, food, and so on. Older adults will happily indulge in these activities. Happy times for your elderly loved one are precious and contribute to their overall well-being.
3. Evaluating health, safety, and well-being
The most important reason for your senior loved one to have a community around them is the opportunity for those around them to monitor and check if they are happy and healthy. You can ensure they’re coping well especially if they have a chronic illness. Their community can also make sure that they are safe and not in need of extra help with care, chores, finances, medications, and friendship.
The friends and company they gain from being part of these communities are some sort of guardian angels to ensure that everything is well with each other. If for example, your loved one fails to show up for a fitness program session, someone is bound to go and check up on them, especially if the family lives far away. This will make you less worried because you know your loved one is part of a community that looks out for each other.
Where To Find Communities And Help Them Become Part Of Them
As we have seen it is important for your senior loved one to have a sense of purpose and something that makes them feel more fulfilled in life. There are various ways you can get them to be active, stay engaged and connected to a community. Here are some useful suggestions.
1. Get Them to Join Community Activities
When older people are connected to communities, there is no doubt that the communities become better. Find out about fun activities for senior people by contacting public libraries, volunteer centers, cultural centers, friendship centers, recreation centers and any other associations of retired persons. This way you will keep your senior loved one occupied in the things they love. First, find out what they love and when you do and get them to join a group that does those activities, they will eternally be grateful to you.
2. Physical Activity Groups
Consider sporting activities that are available near them. For example, the 55+ BC Games allow those aged 55+ the opportunity to compete in sports activities such as dragon-boating, ice hockey, pickleball and so on. If your elderly loved one isn't able to compete, there are opportunities for volunteers of all ages in such events. Suggest to them to join such activities because they can be quite fun for them. Most of these activities can be found in most adult daycare centers.
3. Online Communities
The internet is quite resourceful in keeping people connected and your senior loved one is not an exception. You can create a family group to allow them to keep in touch with everyone in the family through text and video chats. You can also find virtual retirement communities and connect them. Most of these online communities for seniors have great opportunities for social interaction. There are social media and web discussions forums of many topics that allow senior folk to share their ideas and get information.
4. 55+ Neighborhoods
You can also suggest to your loved one about finding a home in a 55-plus community. Many housing developers are offering this kind of new-home community. This could be a great neighborhood for your senior loved one because they will have neighbors of their age or even older. They get to live around people who identify with them and share neighborhood activities. These Retirement neighborhoods allow them to make new friends and start all over again in a neighborhood with like-minded individuals who want to be part of a close-knit community of their peers.
Such neighborhoods feature fitness centers, pickleball, tennis courts, walking trails, community clubs, classes and a plethora of events take place to make life exciting for its senior residents. Look for a neighborhood with a vibrant social calendar and one that depicts the best of a welcoming sense of community. Most U.S states have 55-plus communities, you just have to find one near you.
Aging is a great achievement for your senior loved ones. Help them celebrate it and experience the best of it. As you help them build their sense of community, you will find that in the process they will also impact the lives of others.