Is Your Loved One at Risk for Loneliness?
We all feel a bit lonely from time to time, and for most of us the feeling usually passes as our days get busy and we rush from one event to the next. Yet for older adults a sustained lack of social interaction can have some serious effects on overall well-being. So taking a moment to consider the factors that can contribute to social isolation, and finding ways to address them, can greatly improve quality of life for you and your loved ones.
- The first factor – living alone – can contribute to feelings of loneliness. Yes, we know this is obvious, yet more and more Americans are living alone, and it’s not always by choice or even a good thing. It may be ideal for the young professional who’s hectic work and social life is balanced by solitary time at home. For an older adult living alone can be the beginning of a path toward social isolation. What’s more, sometimes the change to living alone may be recent development, the result of the passing of a beloved partner, and not an active choice. Then, when other factors come into play, such as a decline in physical mobility or the development of a chronic health issue, the quality and number of social interactions can take a sharp decline.
- Health issues, decreased physical mobility, and less access to transportation can be obstacles to continuing to be a part of engaging social interactions. As we age, we often need some assistance from others. While it’s important, and often very nice, to have helpers, the research shows that actually doing less can lead to being less-able to do. There’s many reasons, but for some, life circumstances can make it’s just plain harder to meet with friends, attend events and enjoy the variety of activities which we used to do.
- The world is a constantly changing place, and for older adults these changes are not always considered good. With the explosion in the use of new technologies to facilitate every-day tasks, from booking medical appointments to purchasing event tickets to clipping coupons, the feeling of being “left behind” can be constant and overwhelming for the less tech-savvy among us. Often, for older adults, this digital-divide can contribute to feelings of isolation.
Here at Kingsway Community we recognize the vital role social interaction plays in an individual’s overall well-being. Our senior living options offer a diverse array of social engagements designed to build new friendships, increase social interaction and sustain a sense of purpose and belonging.
Consider our independent living communities, Parkland Garden Apartments and Kingsway Village Apartments. Each offers safe, comfortable and enjoyable alternatives to living in your own home. Each features private apartments with spacious floor plans, well-appointed kitchens, convenient amenities and delicious dining options. And each of these options provides an extensive array of activities and programs designed specifically so you or your loved one can stay active with active socializing. With just a step outside your apartment you or your loved one can make new friends while enjoying a chef-prepared meal, share casual chats over coffee in the café, and enjoy activities with others who share the same interests. You could join a crafter’s club or learn how to paint. You can take a trip to the library with your neighbors, enjoy a lecture on local history or volunteer to teach someone else a new skill. Along with transportation to medical appointments and weekly shopping, Kingsway independent living communities let you and your loved one make the most out of living – combining the peace of mind of a maintenance-free private home, with stimulating and engaging social activities.
For those with personal care and assistance needs, our Kingsway Manor Assisted Living community offers not only private apartments in a comfortable, supportive setting but also a diverse life enrichment program filled with social stimulation as the guiding principal. It could be a morning session of chair tai chi, trying your hand at knitting, joining in on a holiday sing-along or an afternoon competition of Horseshoes – each offers the benefit of building fulfilling relationships with other people and cultivating new friendships. Pursuing your passions is a powerful foundation for connecting with others.
Person-centered care is the heart of Kingsway Community’s skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, The Kingsway Arms. Every element of our service is focused on improving the quality of life for each resident. We do that not only by providing excellence in nursing care, but also by recognizing that the benefits of an active social life go far beyond keeping busy. That’s why we offer a 7-days per week recreation and activity program, one that stimulates the mind, strengthens body and feeds the spirit. From daily discussions on current events to swing dance instruction, to Mardi Gras parades and pet therapy, you and your loved one will enjoy a wide range of ways to share the best of yourself with others.
Our senior living specialists welcome your questions, please call 518-393-8800 or schedule a tour today so that you too can enjoy the peace of mind that is Kingsway.