Bethesda Southgate offers activities and opportunities for socialization for seniors

The Importance of Socialization for Seniors

Bethesda Health | February 2, 2017

Keeping seniors socially active can be just about as important to their health as taking their medicine and exercising. According to multiple studies, spending more time with friends and family leads to longer and higher-quality lives for older adults.

Socialization makes seniors happier and healthier

“Activities and socialization are a vital part of the human experience,” according to Tara Burrow, Activities and Adult Day Director at Bethesda Southgate and Charless Village in South St. Louis County. “Sometimes we as caregivers forget just how important that is. But the opportunity to socialize with others is crucial.”

Tara said seniors who don’t have regular social opportunities tend to become inactive and reclusive, which can lead their health into a downward spiral.

“Seniors who establish friendships are less likely to become depressed, which contributes to a healthier lifestyle,” Tara said. “In addition, those seniors who become depressed or reclusive often become ill faster and have a harder time overcoming it.”

Benefits of socialization for seniors

Ways to help seniors find social interaction

Social opportunities are all around us! Staying active and engaged as a senior does not have to be difficult. Next time you or your senior loved one is in need of interaction, try the tips below.

It’s the little things that count

It doesn’t have to be a big fuss. Most seniors just would like a little something to look forward to every few days, Tara mentions. It’s the company, not the activity that matters most.

“Family members can bring photos of grandkids or photos from their loved one’s childhood and let them talk and share memories they have,” said Tara. “Inviting other seniors to join for donuts or a card game that a family may be playing with their family member is another simple way to help your loved one make important social connections.”

Communities centered on socializing

“When seniors get together to participate in activities, they not only work together for projects for staff members or organizations in the community, but also talk with each other and share a special moment of giving back which makes them feel good,” Tara said. “They can then converse about this at meals or with family when they visit. We also try to sit friend groups together or help match like personalities at card games or crafts or at happy hours, in hopes to stimulate conversation and help develop friendships.”

Bethesda’s communities host many social groups and offer multiple activities which give seniors the opportunity to stay in touch with their community and their peers. To learn more about our Independent Retirement Living communities in the St. Louis area, contact us to schedule a tour at a community near you.

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