As people age, it’s important for them to stay connected socially. Being isolated from friends, family members and neighbors can lead to depression and other mental health issues. Studies have shown that loneliness can contribute to physical problems as well. Living alone can present many barriers to social connectedness that seniors who live in an independent living community don’t experience. Isolation can have negative impacts on your health, fitness, and memory, and the older we get, the more important it becomes that we are surrounded by people we know.
Senior citizens who remain in their home face a variety of issues that have the potential to lead to isolation and physical and mental ailments. How can you avoid them? Here are four life-changing benefits of independent living.
1. Support When Friends and Relatives Move Away
For many seniors, friends and relatives may live too far away, or may even be thinking of moving to a more distant location to be closer to their own families. That reduces the natural daily interactions that occur, as well as the free assistance and watchful eyes provided by loved ones. Independent living communities generally offer a wide range of activities such as singing and playing musical instruments; biking, dancing and other physical activities; and cards, chess, checkers and board games. Residents can enjoy each other’s company and engage in brain-boosting conversation daily.
2. Health Issues Won’t Keep You Down
Staying social is vital to overall health and well-being. When seniors have
medical issues that keep them from visiting friends and neighbors, going on shopping excursions or even walking around the neighborhood, it limits their interactions with others as well their time out in the world. One study even found that those seniors who had the most social interaction also maintained the highest level of mobility as they aged. The key to maintaining a healthy body, regardless of age, is to maintain a healthy and active brain. While residents are meeting, interacting and having fun with new friends and neighbors, they can also enjoy an array of services that will help them remain healthy, happy and well-adjusted. Independent living communities offer options such as housekeeping and laundry, three meals a day, a safe and secure building, cable TV, Wi-Fi, utilities, social and recreational activities, personal medical alert systems, scheduled outings and transportation to doctors’ appointments.
3. Can’t Drive? No Problem
Even if they are physically able to leave their home, they might be limited in their ability to drive, and they might not have access to public transportation. This can leave seniors stranded without access to the things they need and want in their lives. Independent living communities offer regularly-scheduled outings to shopping areas, movie theaters, baseball stadiums and possibly even golf courses. They often organize seniors to volunteer at schools, hospitals or nursing homes, or local organizations such as youth sports teams.
4. An Unyielding Support System
Seniors often are confronted with the emotional impact of friends and family members in their age group has passed away. Those that live alone are often forced to deal with these losses, especially that of a spouse, without an everpresent network of support. Not having a community of support makes the grieving process more difficult. While it’s not an easy choice to leave the home, for many seniors, many of the challenges they face can be eliminated by moving into an independent living community, where a community is readily available to prop you up when life gets hard.
Would you like to learn more about the advantages of living in an independent living community? Contact Nye Health Services, which provides a wide range of services to maximize the health and wellness of older adults. For more information, please contact Nye Health Services at (402) 753-1400.