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Why Socialization Is So Important for Older Adults

It’s a fact that humans are social beings and as a result all humans need some level of social interaction to remain mentally and physically healthy. Socialization for seniors, however, can become a challenge as they age, they lose friends, and it becomes more and more difficult to get out and visit. When this happens seniors can become disconnected, isolated and lonely, which in turn can have dire consequences.

Socialization for seniors – mental health aspects

According to the 2023 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation” social isolation has become a public health crisis among our nation’s adults. Even before the pandemic, the sense of disconnection and loneliness was increasing to the extent that the report notes, “In recent years, about one-in-two adults in America reported experiencing loneliness.” Sadly the lack of socialization may be even more pronounced for seniors because as friends pass away, mobility decreases and social circles shrink, it becomes more and more difficult to get all the social interaction needed to stay mentally healthy.

But is social isolation really that dangerous? Yes it is. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention article, “Loneliness and Social Isolation Linked to Serious Health Conditions,” notes the mental health repercussions include a 50% increased risk of dementia, as well as higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. Further complicating mental health are less well-defined impacts like poor sleep, increased stress and a decreased ability to concentrate, pay attention and complete complex tasks.

Socialization for seniors – physical health aspects

Interaction with others isn’t just a normal human need it’s also essential to good physical health according to the National Institute on Aging article “Social isolation, loneliness in older people pose health risks” For starters, research has shown that a lack of socialization for seniors increases the risk of a range of physical health problems including heart disease by 29%, stroke by 32%, and an increase in likelihood of type 2 diabetes, addiction, a weakened immune system, and even premature death.

While any one of these diseases or conditions can be devastating, for older adults they may also be compounded by age-related disabilities, grief following the loss of a spouse or partner, being a caregiver themselves, and fearing the loss of independence and control.

How senior living makes socialization easy

Socialization for seniors spans a variety of engaging and interactive activities that can include everything from visiting with friends and family to joining clubs and interest groups to volunteering. Simply put, socialization for seniors opens the door to a healthy lifestyle that ultimately can add years to their lives. To ramp up socialization for seniors, consider some of the ways socialization is built into modern senior living communities like One Lincoln Park.

An emphasis on wellness: Socialization for seniors must be a well-rounded package that includes helping residents stay healthy. Our onsite Wellness Center is staffed by professional health care providers and offers routine services like blood pressure checks, medication consultations, annual vaccinations, and physician referrals. In addition, our onsite Heartland Pharmacy provides prescription drop-off and pick-up services as well as over-the-counter medications, health and beauty products, gifts and more. Learn more in our blog, “The Wellness Amenities Residents at One Lincoln Park Value Most.”

Activities and events galore: It’s easy to increase socialization for seniors when every day offers fun things to do, places to go and activities that encourage self-fulfillment. From our state-of-the art fitness center to a variety of group exercises like chair yoga and a walking club to games like bingo and cards there is never a dull moment. Other options include a book club, Bible study, and a knitting group that offer the opportunity to learn and grow. Of course we also plan different events, onsite and around the greater community, so residents can decide what’s best for them. For more of what’s in store, check out our blog, “Amenities and Services: What’s Included in the Cost of Senior Living.”

A spirit of volunteerism: For many seniors, retirement is the perfect time to give back by volunteering. Not only is volunteering good for others it has some pretty amazing benefits for volunteers as well. Our blog, “Why Volunteering Is Good for Seniors’ Health,” notes that research shows volunteering can not only improve mental and physical health, but helps decrease isolation and increase companionship, as well. No matter how little or how much, volunteering is a great way to improve socialization for seniors.

If everything One Lincoln Park has to offer seems too good to be true, contact us and schedule a tour today. We think you’ll be glad you did!

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