When looking to help maintain a good quality of life for seniors, there are many things to consider -but they may not be what you think!
According to a recent study, most seniors feel that connection with family and friends helps them to maintain a high quality of life more than financial security.
Building and maintaining relationships with loved ones helps seniors to hold onto their quality of life, even when finances and health might be causing stress. Helping the seniors in your life to remain connected to the people they know and to meet new friends can ensure that stay happy as they age.
Social connections are vitally important for seniors
Maintaining strong social connections as they age can help seniors hold onto their health, both mental and physical. As humans age it becomes more difficult to get out and interact with friends and family. However, it is an essential thing to stay on top of because many seniors who are isolated from social connections have been shown to be at a greater risk of developing dementia and may even live shorter lives.
How to help seniors stay connected
There are many ways that you can help seniors stay connected. Whether you are able to be there to help facilitate or are guiding from a distance, there are several things that you can do to offer your support and assistance.
1. Go for regular walks
Whether they are able to walk on their own- with or without mobility aids- or have friends or family that are willing to walk with them, getting out for regular walks
is a great way to maintain connectivity. Walking with a friend is the perfect way to engage in conversation, maintain mental health and improve physical health.
2. Make use of technology and the internet
If distance is a barrier, seniors can make use of the internet to help reduce that distance. Chatting through text or video calls can facilitate a connection with far away friends and family. Often seniors can struggle with learning how to use technology so spending some time teaching them the basics will be essential to their success.
3. Choose a socially thriving home
When the time comes to move into an assisted living facility, choosing the right one is the best way to help seniors maintain relationships and connection. Homes that host regular social events like game nights, coffee clubs and local field trips are a great choice for seniors that thrive on connections with others.
4. Plan family visits
One of the most important connections in a senior’s life are the ones they have with their family. In order to maintain those connections as they age, family should make time to join their loved one for meals, outings and other gatherings.
5. Take up a hobby
Another great way to foster relationships and stay connected with their community is to take up a hobby. Joining a sewing club, bowling league, dart team or choir is the perfect way for seniors to make friends with similar interests. Bird watching and photography are amazing ways to get out while doing something fun!
6. Try out volunteering
Spending time volunteering with their church, community organizations or charities is one way that seniors are able to still feel connected with their community. If volunteering is a new idea for your loved one, you may consider joining them at the beginning to help increase their comfort level.
7. Encourage them to attend parties
Whether it’s a birthday party for their grandkids, an anniversary party for a friend or a graduation party for a child, encouraging seniors to attend parties is an excellent way for them to have fun, break up their routine and maintain connection with their family and friends.
Mobility helps seniors maintain quality of life
Since quality of life is directly related to the connection that seniors have with their family, friends and community, the ability to move around is an essential aspect. Mobility, both assisted and unassisted, is a strong factor in a senior’s quality of life.
Physical movement helps seniors to ward off many physical ailments as well as mental ones. Whether they use a cane, a rollator walker or a wheelchair to help them get around, regular movement can help boost their immune system, ward of many age- and health-related ailments, maintain a positive outlook and continue to foster relationships with friends and family.