Reducing Social Isolation In Seniors With Assisted Living
December 27, 2022
The effects of loneliness can be as detrimental to seniors as high blood pressure or tobacco use. Loneliness can lead to isolation, which increases the risk of depression and dementia. Assisted living provides a communal environment to reduce senior loneliness and isolation in older adults.
Causes of Social Isolation in Seniors
The loss of a spouse or family member could cause social isolation. Your loved one’s circle of friends may shrink as they pass or move away, limiting their meaningful social connections. Lack of mobility or transportation might make it difficult for your parent to participate in recreational activities and events where they would meet new people.
Risks of Senior Isolation
Extended isolation has been linked to:
- Cognitive decline
- Sleep deprivation
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Loss of mobility
- Fall risk
Socialization in an Assisted Living Community
Group activities: Senior assisted living communities offer activities and events catering to various interests. Your loved one can participate at their leisure to stay physically and socially engaged. Schedules may include art classes, crafting, live entertainment, guest speakers, educational classes and cultural or religious services. Group exercise programs are also common, so your loved one can work on fitness with others.
Hobbies: Does your parent like to paint? Maybe they enjoyed golfing most of their life. They can still participate in those activities in assisted living, individually or with others. Assisted living staff consider your loved one’s preferences and find the right hobbies to keep them socially active. Your parent could join a reading, gardening, music, hiking or cooking club. They may discover new hobbies they haven’t tried before when they move into an assisted living community.
Community dining: Assisted living offers communal dining, which presents a good opportunity for your loved one to meet and get to know their neighbors.
Outings and day trips: Staff often plan trips to local museums, art galleries, parks, sporting events and concerts. Each trip presents a chance for them to take an excursion and enjoy different experiences with new friends.
Visiting with loved ones: Family and friends are welcome and encouraged to participate in activities and events. It’s a good opportunity to get to know your parent’s neighbors and friends in a pleasant environment.
Pet therapy: Some assisted living facilities offer pet therapy. Handlers bring in animals, typically dogs, to visit residents in a safe environment. This type of socializing is a good option if your parent is an animal lover and isn’t permitted to have pets. Animals provide stress relief, comfort and companionship, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Award-Winning Assisted Living Facilities in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania
Call Embassy Healthcare at 216-378-2050 to learn about our assisted living communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. You can also schedule a tour online.