As humans, we have a powerful, innate need to belong. Studies have shown that having a strong social support system helps people better adapt to changes and challenges of aging. One study determined that cognitive abilities declined 70 percent more slowly in individuals who had frequent social connections, compared to those who had little social contact with others. Especially for seniors with memory loss, spending time with friends, neighbors and family members can boost quality of life, including both physical and mental health.
Benefits Through Increased Socialization
Unfortunately for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, there are typically fewer opportunities for socialization as they age. It may be that driving and/or getting out of the house has become too difficult, their circle of friends has become smaller, their contact with former colleagues has decreased or their memory impairment interferes with participating in activities. This is when being part of a community like Silver Creek can provide huge benefits through increased socialization.
Improved mental health. Higher cognitive function is linked to increased social interaction.
Improved physical health. Socialization has been shown to help lower blood pressure and control hypertension.
Sense of purpose and belonging. Feelings of acceptance and confidence are connected to cognitive longevity.
Increased growth and learning. Group classes, activities and social interaction contribute to a positive outlook and an enthusiasm for living.
By contrast, social isolation can have a physical as well as emotional impact. Seniors who are chronically lonely often have elevated systolic blood pressure and are also at greater risk for depression. With meaningful socialization encouraged as a part of daily life, residents of Silver Creek can realize benefits like stress reduction, better physical health and improved cognitive function.