It’s a Beautiful Day for a Neighbor: Benefits of Social Participation and Engagement for Older AdultsOctober 17, 2022 - Updated November 18, 2022
Enjoying alone time is natural. Solitude can be healthy, giving you opportunity to de-stress, reflect, and participate in activities you enjoy (Introverts will know this better than anybody!) However, the importance of social engagement – especially for older adults – cannot be stressed enough.
In a study published by the American Journal of Public Health, it was found that lack of a social network and limited social engagement for older adults are significant risk factors of developing dementia from mid-life to late life. Social isolation can also cause feelings of loneliness, potentially leading to depression and anxiety in older adults, high blood pressure and heart disease, and accelerated cognitive decline, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Unfortunately, older adults are prone to social isolation and its associated health risks as they have fewer avenues to socialize. It may feel easier to spend time by yourself, but even a little effort towards meeting and interacting with other people can be extremely rewarding.
In a study conducted by the medical journal Electronic Physician, a connection between social participation and quality of life was identified among older adults in a retirement home. The psychological, physical, and social aspects of life satisfaction are positively impacted by forming bonds with other people. Simply put, making friends, and spending time with them regularly improves your mood and quality of life – the bigger your social network, the more beneficial it is to you. It’s the closeness, confidentiality, and meaning derived from these interactions that are associated with reduced psychological distress, as explained in this study published by Aging & Mental Health.
Fortunately, choosing to live in a Simple Life community is the choice to surround yourself with an abundance of meaningful social opportunity. Understanding the benefit of socialization on health and well-being guides our activity planning in our communities, allowing us to better connect residents together through activities such as dancing, game nights, community luncheons, and more. For those not typically inclined to strike up a conversation with a neighbor you have not met, these opportunities are especially important, as they are intended to facilitate social bonds between you and the community.
Each month, for Lakeshore, The Hamlet, and The Village, Simple Life’s corresponding on-site teams specifically curate activity calendars for the communities to give residents an opportunity to meet and connect with one another. Beyond these events, each neighborhood space is shared, including the fitness centers, clubhouses, firepits, and more. We implore you to take advantage of these amenities and connect with your neighbors. You may have a friend just waiting for you to introduce yourself.