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THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN CONNECTIONS AND AGING WELL
Posted: 1/29/2019 7:57 AM by
Contributed by Patti Karwatowski
Research shows that seniors with satisfying social relationships live longer and healthier lives compared to those with little or no socialization. Most seniors value their fulfilling relationships with family and friends second only to health as the most important area in their life*. The importance of socialization is further emphasized by the World Health Organization, which reported that isolation can lead to premature death, lower general sense of well-being, cognitive decline, depression and higher levels of disability from chronic disease. Socialization also impacts nutrition, as seniors may not bother much with meal prep and may skip meals when dining solo. One woman shared that after her spouse passed away; she grew tired of lonely dinners and decided it was time to move to a retirement community.
A recent Gallup poll found that the more time older adults spend with friends and family, the more likely they are to report happiness and enjoyment in their lives. Yet, often, seniors have a lifestyle that lessens social interactions. One gentleman shared “I only have my cat to talk to and he doesn’t answer back”. Seniors share that their address book has gotten slim as friends have moved away or passed away. They may no longer be driving at night or not at all. There may be physical changes, a recent fall, a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition due to lack of interest in meal prep and assistance may be needed. “Oh, I just have a hot dog or a frozen diet meal”. “We mostly watch TV or read and we don’t have hobbies or many activities these days” is often heard.
People are living longer than ever before and age does not have to be a barrier to enjoying a full, active life. Our ideal homes should evolve throughout our lifetime and we should all be open minded as to where we would best thrive physically, emotionally and mentally in our senior years. For many older adults, the home where they raised their family may no longer be ideal, or even unsafe, and caring for the home can take a toll.
A move to a retirement community may initially seem daunting, but once folks relax into the maintenance-free, active lifestyle with a full social calendar, they find a new purpose and a positive outlook on life and, quite often, a second family. “I wish I had done this sooner” and “I can’t believe how many new friends I have at my age” are common refrains. There is a sense of belonging, a feeling of fellowship with others in the same age range, lively dinner companions, an increased sense of self-esteem and belonging as folks can volunteer for a committee, join a club and foster new friendships. The community offers safety features, stress-free, maintenance-free living, 24-hour staffing, off-site trips, outings, parties, movies, music, art groups, gardening, cards, and fitness classes geared for seniors. Conversations and socializing with others, along with participating in a variety of activities including adult learning classes, boosts brain power. Humans are built to be social creatures and connections are essential for healthy living at all ages. Sharing fun and rewarding activities together with like-minded folks fills us with a sense of happiness and living life with purpose.
Coburg Village is a resort style, independent living retirement community in Rexford, New York for active seniors. Services and amenities are including in the monthly fee; such as a chef prepared meal daily, housekeeping, transportation, linen service, most utilities, security, 24-hour staffing, a packed activities calendar, luxurious surroundings, and most importantly, a warm, friendly atmosphere and sense of family and community. There is no buy in or entry fee and we provide a financial comparison guide.
To learn more or to schedule a visit, call today to see this exceptional senior living community at 518-371-5000.
*Study by Children’s, Women’s and Seniors Health Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Health.
Patti Karwatowski, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist at Coburg Village, along with associate Tracie Epting, have worked with hundreds of families and do their best to offer guidance and conversations about retirement options and offer assistance in any way possible
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